HC issues rule to provide adequate compensation for Sitakunda fire victims

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Dhaka, Aug 10: The High Court (HC) on Wednesday asked authorities concerned of the government to explain why adequate compensation should not be given to the families of the victims and the injured in the fire at the BM Container Depot in Sitakunda, Chattogram.

The home affairs secretary, disaster management secretary, industries secretary, commerce secretary, director general of fire service and civil defense, deputy commissioner of Chattogram, and the chairman and managing director of Smart Group were made respondents to the rule within four weeks.

At the same time, the court ordered an expert committee to investigate the fire incident and find those responsible.

The court also directed the formation of a committee headed by a professor from the chemical department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology which will submit a report to the court within three months.

All the secretaries and other government officials were directed to comply with the court’s order.

After hearing a writ petition on the incident, the HC bench comprising Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order.

On June 29, a writ was filed in the HC seeking a directive to pay TK2 crore compensation to each of the families of those killed in the fire at the BM container depot in Sitakunda.

In the writ, it also asked for TK50 lakh in compensation to each of the injured. In addition, directions were sought to investigate the incident.

The writ was filed by Law and Life Foundation Trust and CCB Foundation. Barrister Humayan Kabir Pallab, Advocate Ishrat Hasan and Advocate Jamiul Haque Faisal filed the writ.

On 4 June, a disastrous fire and explosion occurred at the BM container depot in Kadmarsul area of Sitakunda, 30 kilometres away from Chattogram city in which about 50 people died while hundreds were injured.