It’s not accident; someone must take responsibility, HC about Chawkbazar fire


Dhaka, Feb 25: Observing that the Chawkbazar inferno that claimed the lives of 67 people is not an accident, the High Court on Monday said someone must take the responsibility for it.It also said the fire incident would have not happened had the 17-point recommendation placed by the probe panel formed by the Home Ministry after the Nimtoli fire been implemented.

“This incident is unexpected. It can’t be called an accident. Someone must take the responsibility for it. One responsible person is shifting the blame on another. This is not right,” said the HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader.

They came up with the observations while hearing three petitions filed over the fire incident.

Later, the court fixed Tuesday for delivering its orders on the petitions.

Four writ petitions have been filed with the HC seeking its directives to provide compensation for the Chawkbazar fire victims, relocate chemical warehouses from Old Dhaka and dismantle unapproved buildings from the area.

Three of them were placed before the HC bench on Monday for hearing.

Barrister Ruhul Kuddus, Riaz Uddin stood for the petitioners.

Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam will hear the petitions and they sought time from the court for this.

The court said the Prime Minister adopted two girls after the Nimtoli fire incident that killed 124 people. “Will only being affectionate be of use? Many lives were lost again. Someone must deliver.The Prime Minister can’t do everything alone. We came to know through newspapers that the Prime Minister monitored the Chawkbazar incident. She can’t run the country alone. The administration concerned should have executed the suggestions.”

Mentioning that the house owners in Old Dhaka rent their establishments for using as warehouses at 2-3 times higher rent but reside in posh areas like Gulshan and Banani, it questioned what the city corporation is doing. “They pretend not to see anything. People die on roads. What’s their fault?”

Citing newspaper reports, the HC bench said no step was taken to implement the recommendations of the probe committee after the Nimtoli fire incident. “They were responsible for executing those. We don’t know whether they’ve take any step. We’ve to consider that they have negligence in their part if they haven’t taken any measure.”

The court also said the Old Dhaka is plagued with numerous problems. “Fire Service vehicles can’t ply the roads. ….there’ll be no building if there’s any earthquake measuring 7-8 on the Richter scale.”

On February 20, at least 67 people were killed and 41 others injured after a devastating fire broke out at a chemical warehouse and raged through several nearby buildings at Chawkbazar.