Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-A Bangladesh court on Monday sent a Rajuk official to jail, rejecting his bail plea in a murder case filed over Rana Plaza collapse in 2013.
The official is Md Awlad Hossain, a building inspector of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
Earlier in the day, Hossain surrendered before the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate in Dhaka.
The Rana Plaza, some 30km (20 miles) outside of Dhaka, collapse on April 24 in 2013 highlighted appalling working conditions in Bangladesh’s US$35 billion garment industry, the world’s second largest apparel exporting country after China.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza that housed a number of ready-made garment factories had killed 1,136 people, mostly women garment workers, and injuring 1,169.
On June 1 last year, police pressed murder charges against 41 people, including theowner of Rana Plaza, Sohel Rana, for their alleged roles in the country’s deadliest industrial disaster.
The 41 people accused of murder, who include owners of factories housed in the complex and government officials, initially faced charges of culpable homicide.
Of the 41, eighteenpeople were also charged for “violating building codes” in constructing the building in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.
The murder case was filed by police and the code violation case by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigated both the cases.
The family of a victim also filed a separate murder case with a Dhaka court who had ordered CID to do the investigation for this case alongside the case filed by the police.
The ready-made garment industry supplies clothes for major international clothing brands, employs about 4 million workers and is vital to Bangladesh’s economy, accounting for 80 percent of its annual export income.
However, the industry is plagued by alleged rights violations and hazardous working conditions.
In the past two decades, an estimated 2,000 workers have been killed and thousands more injured in dozens of factory fires and collapses.
Factory owners are politically and financially influential and are rarely held responsible for disasters.
Labor activists called the court move a “step forward” for justice but decried what they called a lackluster trial process.