RANA PLAZA COLLAPSE: Sohel Rana, parents, 16 others indicted

Court asks govt to allow charges against govt officials

Staff Correspondent

A court in Dhaka on Wednesday indicted 18 people, including building owner Sohel Rana, his parents, five government officials and two elected representatives, for breaching building construction law, which led to the Rana Plaza disaster.
The senior judicial magistrate, Md Shahinur Rahman, asked the authorities to arrest six of 18 accused for not appearing in the court.
The senior judicial magistrate also asked two ministries — the LGRD and Co-operatives, and Labour — to issue approvals to charge four government officials in another case filed for homicide and criminal conspiracy.
The judicial magistrate set August 18 for the next hearing over the government approval in the murder case, while it would also hear on the implementation of the arrest order.
In the case filed under Building Construction Act , the court issued arrest warrants against Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana’s mother Marjina Begum, the then Savar municipality’s chief executive officer Uttam Kumar Roy, the then Savar municipality’s engineer Mahbubur Rahman and its urban planner Farzana Islam, businessman Md Mahbubul Alam, Rezaul Islam and Nantu Contractor.
The two accused are now in jail while the remaining 10 are now out on bail in the case.
The court on the day also did not accept the charge sheet in the murder case, in response to an application filed by the prosecution.
Twenty-four accused are absconding while four, including Sohel Rana, are now in jail and 13 accused are out of jail on bail in the case.
Public prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul requested the court to ask the ministries concerned to issue approval to charge the four accused named in the case.
Following the plea, the court directed the labour and LGRD ministries to give the approvals for their officials —Md Yusuf Ali, Shahudul Islam, Belayet Hossain and Awlad Hossain.
On the morning of April 24, 2013, the eight-storey Rana Plaza, which had housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, collapsed, leaving at least 1,137 people dead and about 2,000 injured and maimed.
After the disaster, the police filed a case against the building owner, Sohel Rana, and the owners of the five clothing factories housed in the building.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha filed another case against the Savar municipality officials and local elected representatives.
On June 1, the Criminal Investigation Department submitted two charge sheets against 42 people, including Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, his parents Abdul Khalek and Marjina Begum, in the two cases filed over the garment factory collapse.

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