State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Monday said that the launch accident in the River Buriganga seemed to be a planned murder.
‘Primarily I’m saying, after watching CCTV footage, that the incident seems to be a planned murder,’ he said.
‘If the investigation report finds it a planned murder, appropriate actions will be taken against the people responsible,’ he added.
He talked to journalists during a visit to Sadarghat Launch Terminal at about 3:45pm after at least 32 people died as a launch capsized in the Buriganga near Farashganj in Dhaka Monday morning.
Witnesses and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority officials said that Morning Bird coming from Munshiganj was taking preparation to anchor at Farashganj terminal at about 9:30am when another launch Mayur-2 on Dhaka-Chandpur route was parked at a dockyard at the opposite side of the terminal.
Mayur 2 move backward and hit Morning Bird, they said.
River police seized Mayur 2 but the master (driver) of the launch fled the scene, said BIWTA chair Commodore Golam Sadeq.
‘The families of all the deceased will receive Tk 1.5 lakh in compensation. The ministry has also given Tk 10,000 to each of the bereaved family for funeral,’ the state minister said.
Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury alleged that the recovery drive was hampered due to crowd.
People came to the spot by boats and smaller boats (dingi) and almost cordoned the area hindering the rescue operation, he added.
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