Rana Plaza missing workers’ list sent to DCs for cross checking

Moinul Haque

The government has sent a list of 169 workers missing since Rana Plaza collapse to 57 deputy commissioners for cross checking in their districts.
In October, the list was prepared by a  committee led by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.  The committee members were drawn from the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, Dhaka district administration and the trade unions.
In October, the committee had sent the list to the labour ministry for further verification of 24 claims.
The committee told the government that it was sanguine that the first 135 workers on the list was indeed missing.
Though the committee called for the verification of only 24 claims, the labour ministry sent the full list to the district administrations for the final scrutiny, labour ministry joint secretary Faizur Rahman told New Age Saturday.
After the final verification, he said, the list will be sent to the prime minister office for the payment of the compensations to the victims’ families.
Faiz said that in the last week of November labour ministry sent the list to the district administrations.
He said that six or seven deputy commissioners already sent their  verification reports to the labour ministry.
After receiving more reports from the districts the labour ministry would start  sending the names of the missing workers to the PMO, he said.
In other words, he said, the list of the missing workers will be sent to the PMO in phases.
Over 1,100 people, mostly apparel workers died in the Rana Plaza collapse on April 2013.
A year later, in April 2014, the BGMEA formed a committee to prepare the list of  the workers who are missing since the Rana Plaza disaster.
Ekramul Haque, district relief and rehabilitation officer and a member of the BGMEA led committee said, On verification we found 100 per cent confirmation that the first 135 persons in the list are indeed missing since the disaster.’
‘We recommended that the government may re-investigate only the question of 24 missing workers to settle their claims,’ he said.
The names of the 24 were included in the list following verification by several labour rights groups, he said.
Following the disaster, the bodies of 845 workers could be identified, 291 victims  were buried unidentified and the district administration received the claims of 347  missing persons.
After the identities of 206 workers were determined through DNA sampling in three phases, the authorities announced that the identities of 1,051 apparel workers could be established.
Latter, the authorities dropped 39 names from the list saying that the names and the addresses of 10 persons were the same and 22 victims were identified through DNA sampling and DNA sampling of seven were done twice.
If the missing persons’ list is found to be accurate following its cross checking  by the district administrations, the number of the Rana Plaza disaster victims would rise to 1,171 from the existing official figure of 1,136, said officials.

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