Monday, January 21, 2019

Man charges KSRM boss Shahjahan with wife’s death in stampede; 4 arrested

  • Chattogram Bureau,
    Published: 2018-05-15 18:28:31 BdST


A man has charged the managing director of Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills or KSRM with negligence that led to the death of his wife and eight other women in a stampede during the distribution of Ramadan alms by the steelmaker.

Mohammad Islam, a resident of Khagria Union and husband of stampede victim Hasina Akter, started the case on Tuesday, said Rafiqul Hossain, the OC of Satkania Police Station.

Md Shahjahan, Managing Director of KSRM, and some unidentified people involved in the distribution of Ramadan alms have been accused in the case.

Police arrested four KSRM officials, who were in charge of distributing the handouts. 

They are Muradul Alam alias Murad, 27, Md Idris, 26, Habib Ahmad Shahed, 32, and Asgor Ali, 28.  

OC Rafiqul said they arrested the four in a drive in the area surrounding Shahjahan’s house at Gatiadanga. 

He said they were continuing drives at the port city, Sitakunda and Satkania to arrest Shahjahan and others who were distributing the handouts.

Besides the deaths of nine women, several others were injured in the stampede when more than 20,000 people gathered to collect zakat and essentials distributed by KSRM at a madrasa field in Chittagong’s Satkania on Monday ahead of Ramadan.

After the incident, organisers and police have blamed ‘heatstroke’ for the deaths but the local administration officials and public representatives have hinted at mismanagement.

Nalua Union Parishad Chairperson Taslima Akhtar told that KSRM distributes alms among the local destitute people every year before Ramadan.

Wealthy families in Chattogram have a tradition of distributing money and foodstuff among the poor ahead of Ramadan, Eid and other religious events. There is also a tradition of inviting entire villages to feasts on special occasions.

In 2005, eight people were killed in a stampede during a similar zakat programme organised by the KSRM owner.

On Dec 18, ten people were killed in a stampede during a funeral rite for former Chattogram mayor and Awami League leader ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.