Although 20 months have already elapsed, the investigation of a case filed over the blast at a building of Mogbazar that killed 12 people and injured over 200, is yet to be finished while none has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Ain O Salish Kendra ASK) executive director Nur Khan said it is in no way acceptable that the charge sheet in connection with the Moghbazar blast could not be given in nearly two years.
"A case is filed after the incident, but the investigation is not completed. As a result, the trial is not carried out. In this way a culture of impunity has been created in the country, the right activist lamented.
Investigation agency of the case, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) of police, said they are trying to identify those who are responsible for the blast and whether any agency had negligence.
On 27 June 2021, an explosion took place on the ground floor of a building named 'Rakhi Neer' at Moghbazar.
A day after the incident, police filed a case on charges of death for negligence against unidentified people with Ramna police station.
Ramna police station sub inspector Rezaul Karim is the plaintiff of the case.
CTTC received an investigation report from the Fire Service in 2021.
Although the investigation by the explosives department has been finished, the CTTC is yet to receive it. In May 2022, CTTC filed a petition to get the investigation report of explosives.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, investigation officer and CTTC inspector Modasser Kaisar said, "The report of the explosives department is very important to identify the cause of the blast and who is responsible. But we have not received the report. It would be possible to identify the specific reason behind the blast once we receive the report."
Explosives department then chief inspector Abul Kalam Azar was involved in the investigation. He has been transferred recently.
Speaking to Prothom Alo on Monday, he said, "I am unaware whether CTTC sent any letter seeking the investigation report of the explosives department. There should not be any bar to provide information if any government organisation seeks from another government organisation."
He, however, said as per their investigation, the blast took place from gas discharged from a faulty line inside the building.
In a visit to the site on Tuesday evening, the building 'Rakhi Neer' was found demolished completely. The site has been fenced with corrugated tins.
Sources familiar with the investigation said an illegal gas connection in the building was snapped in 2014. CTTC had to go to the court last year to get information about who did this. Investigation officer Modasser is yet to receive this information.
Blast at Moghbazar in the capital
According to the case statement, activities of commercial entities were going on in the 3-storey building. The blast may have taken place due to negligence of the building owner, Shawarma House, Bengal Meet, Grand Confectionary, Singer Electronics, Titas Gas and Dhaka South City Corporation.
Investigation sources said frozen meat selling agency Bengal Meat was using a high power chiller in the ground floor of the building violating rules.
An abandoned gas line of Titas was found under the building. Although the line was abandoned, gas was supplied through this line. Gas discharged from a leakage of the line accumulated in the chiller room of Bengal Meet. The explosion may occur from a spark of short circuit of electric lines there.
However after the blast, Bengal Meet head of commercial Al Amin told Prothom Alo that he had no idea how the blast took place from gas accumulated in the chiller room.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo online edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.