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The Financial Express

First anniversary of Churihatta fire

Victims urge govt for immediate rehabilitation

FE Online Report | Published: February 20, 2020 21:36:45 | Updated: February 21, 2020 13:40:56


Victims urge govt for immediate rehabilitation

Even after one year of the fire occurrence at Churihatta (Chakbazar), the family members of the victims have not got financial support.

The family members of the victims mentioned this, and requested the government to rehabilitate them immediately as they have been passing their days with great financial constraints and mental pains.

They called upon the government to spend deposited Tk 300 million donated by banks for their rehabilitation.

They demanded for putting a ‘complete stop’ of doing business of chemical items at Churihatta (Chakbazar) in the capital immediately and shift it to somewhere else for the sake of avoiding the recurrence of such tragic incident. 

“I’m 68 years old. I have lost my two young sons. Now I am passing my days in financial crisis. I have to maintain my grand children. I humbly request the government to help us considering our sorrows and pains,” Md Shaheb Ullha (68) said who burst into tears while narrating his pains along with family members of other victims at a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Thursday.

Fatema Akter (around 35), who lost her only bread-earner husband in the disaster, said that she has been facing difficulties amid financial crisis as she has to nurture her two minor daughters herself. 

“I have been facing severe monetary constraints. I have lost my husband. There is none to help us. How can we survive?” She said.

“Why are we --family members-- so neglected? We call upon the prime minister to please help us,” Moina Begum said with tears while narrating her pains as she has lost her son in the flame of Churihatta.

Another victim named Rashed Khan who got his master’s degree soon after the death of his father due to the fire incident, also vented sheer frustrations saying that he is yet to get any job though the government has promised to provide jobs to the family members of the victims.   

“My brother is trying to maintain our family. I’m yet to a get a job despite promises from the government. If I get the job then it will be possible for me to assist my brother for running our family,” he said.

The family members of the victims expressed their agonies, frustrations and pains during the press briefing marking the first anniversary of the blaze in the Churihatta intersection of the capital that occurred on the night of February 20 last year.

Several non-government organisations jointly organised the press briefing at DRU.    

Around 70 persons were killed and around 50 were injured due to the devastating fire at Churihatta (Chakbazar).  

Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman requested the government to help those who have lost their near and dear ones in the happening.

Advocate Sultana Kamal of Ain o Salish Kendra presided over the event.

“It was not merely a fire case, rather it was a killing due to sheer negligence of some people. I call upon the government to try those who are responsible for the tragedy,” she said.

Executive Director of ALRD (Association for Land Reform and Development) Shamsul Huda, Chief Executive of BELA (Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association) Syeda Rizwana Hasan and Co-ordinator of Nijera Kori Khushi Kabir, among others, spoke on the occasion. 

Meanwhile, Dhaka South City Corporation provided jobs, shops and financial assistance to 31 families of the victims on Thursday at 12.30 pm at Nagar Bhaban.

Out of them, 21 persons got the appointment letters for the jobs of cleaners at DSCC. Four persons received assistance of Tk 200,000 each.  Two persons got allotment of shops owned by the DSCC. Besides, DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon assured to provide jobs to four higher educated persons according to their qualification. 

talhabinhabib@yahoo.com

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