Hall-Mark workers, cops clash in Savar
Dhaka, Oct 23 (bdnews24.com) – A violent clash broke out on Tuesday after the law-enforcers tried to remove workers of the controversial Hall-Mark group, who blocked the Dhaka-Aricha highway to press for disbursement of current month’s salary, Eid bonus and overtime allowances.
The violence lasted from 11am for half-an-hour as the police pushed back around 5-6 thousands workers, who sieged the major road in Jorpul area, allowing resumption of traffic that had backlogged for their demo, causing massive suffering for holidaymakers heading home for the Puja and Eid vacations.
The workers burst into anger in the morning after finding a notice declaring the establishment at Hemayetpur shut immediately, Industrial Police’s Inspector Abdul Baten Khan told bdnews24.com.
« At one stage, the workers started pelting brickbats at the police and we retaliated by firing rubber bullets and teargas shells to bring them under control. »
Savar Police Station’s Officer in Charge Mohammad Assaduzzaman said that around 147 rubber bullets and nine teargas shells were used.
After nearly two weeks of agitation, the workers of the garments factory, which employs over 30,000, were paid their wages due for September on Sunday and Monday.
Related persons said that the workers would be given only their due wage for the month and that they would not be getting their Eid bonus or overtime allowances just yet.
Salary of the other staff of the Hallmark factories would be cleared gradually, officials concerned said.
Hall-Mark Group Chairperson Jesmin Islam, Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud and General Manager Tushar Ahmed are currently in prison for siphoning off Tk 26.06 billion from Sonali Bank against phoney collaterals.
The Anti-Corruption Commission also filed cases against seven other top officials of the Group over the scam.
The workers have been facing uncertainty since the arrest of the top brass as they are not being paid their dues.
After a number of days of demonstration in Savar’s industrial area, hundreds of workers formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention regarding clearance of their dues.
Presse esclavagiste (bdnews24.com, 23 octobre 2012)