Chawkbazar Fire Tragedy: 2010 HC directives 'ignored'
12:00 AM, February 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:13 AM, February 22, 2019

2010 HC directives 'ignored'

The government is yet to respond to the High Court rule and directives over the Nimtoli fire in Old Dhaka that killed 124 people and injured many others on June 3, 2010, said the lawyer who filed a writ petition in this regard. 

Following the petition filed by six rights organisations and a rights activist, the HC on June 10 that year ordered the government-formed probe committee, headed by the home secretary, to find the cause of Nimtoli fire and submit a report to it within three months.

The court asked the taskforce formed to identify the unauthorised buildings, warehouses and factories where chemicals, explosives and other flammable or petroleum products (both authorised and unauthorised) were stored and to submit the report to it within three months.

It also issued a rule asking the authorities to show cause as to why they should not be directed to take actions and adequate measures for preventing and fighting against eruption of fire in the city.

In the rule, the court told the authorities to explain why they should not be ordered to ensure safe and planned development of Old Dhaka and prevent the unauthorised setting up or use of buildings as warehouses and factories, and use of flammable or petroleum products or any hazardous substances, chemicals or explosives in Old Dhaka.

Petitioners' lawyer Sara Hossain yesterday told The Daily Star that the government was yet to respond to the order and rule issued by the HC after the Nimtoli tragedy, and the HC did not pass any further order on this issue.

The lawyer added that she would move another petition on behalf of her clients before the HC next week for punishment of the people responsible for Chawkbazar disaster and adequate compensation for the victims' families.

Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, one of the petitioners, told this correspondent that the incident of Chawkbazar tragedy happened as the administration concerned did not take appropriate action against those responsible for the Nimtoli incident.

Home Secretary Mostafa Kamal Uddin and Attorney General Mahbubey Alam could not be reached over their mobile phones for comments.

Law Minister Anisul Huq said he was deeply shocked at the Chawkbazar incident and appropriate action would be taken after getting the investigation report on the incident.

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