Bangladesh building collapse: Seize owner's property, says court



Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court on Tuesday directed authorities to "immediately" confiscate all the movable and immovable properties of the owner of an illegally constructed building that collapsed last week, killing nearly 400 people.

The High Court also asked the inspector general of registration to issue a circular to all the registrars across the country to ensure that the properties are not transferred or sold. The court fixed May 8 for further order on the issue, the Daily Star newspaper reported. Building owner Mohammed Sohel Rana was arrested on Sunday at Benapole in Jessore while he was attempting to flee to India. Meanwhile, law enforcers arrested a man on charges of helping Rana to flee.

During the hearing, the court ordered the Bangladesh Bank to freeze all the bank accounts of the accused and pay the salaries and benefits of garment workers from their accounts through Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Besides, the court asked the inspector general of registration and the central bank governor to submit separate reports in seven days after complying with the order.

The High Court bench of justices Mirza Hussain Haider and Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar formed a committee headed by general officer commanding (GoC) of 9 Infantry Division to find a way for paying compensation to Rana Plaza victims and how to rehabilitate them. The committee was asked to submit a preliminary report before the court within a month. The court came up with the orders after police produced all five accused before it complying with its April 25 order. The court summoned the accused so that they could explain their role in connection with the building collapse.

The eight-storey Rana Plaza housing five garment factories, a branch of Brac Bank and a shopping complex collapsed on Wednesday, trapping unspecified number of people inside it.

So far, 386 people were found dead and 2,437 others pulled out alive.

PTI