RAB arrests MV Abhijan owner from Keraniganj

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Dhaka, Dec 27: Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have arrested Hamjalal Sheikh, one of the owners of launch MV ‘Avijan-10’, in connection with the deadly fire incident in the launch that left 41 people dead and many more injured.

ANM Imran Khan, Assistant Director (ASP) of Legal and Media Wing of Rab, said Hamjalal was held from Keraniganj early Monday.

His arrest followed Dhaka Marine Court’s warrants for the arrest of four owners and four master drivers of the launch as a case filed by the Department of Shipping.

The accused in the case are four owners of the launch company, ‘Messars Al Araf and Company’, Md Hamjalal Sheikh, Md Shamim Ahmed, Md Rasel Ahmed, and Ferdous Hasan Rabby, in-charge master of Avijan-10 Md Riaz Sikder, in-charge driver Masum Billah, second master Khalilur Rahman, second driver Abul Kalam.

The shipping department suspended the licenses of the launch and its drivers.

A three-member probe committee was formed on Sunday by the shipping department that will submit a report within 15 working days after investigating the fire in the launch.

The blaze broke out at 3am on Friday on the Barguna-bound launch carrying some 800 passengers from Dhaka and it engulfed the entire vessel within 10 minutes.

The death toll from the fire incident climbed to 41 on Saturday night. Besides, over 70 people suffered injuries and many of them are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

However, the exact number of passengers travelling by the launch and the missing passengers is yet to be known.