Rana Plaza murder case: Trial begins 5 years after charge framing

In this photograph taken on 24 April 2013, Bangladeshi civilian volunteers assist in rescue operations after an eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of DhakaAFP

Trial in the murder case filed over Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 began officially on Monday by recording statements of the witnesses.

On 18 July 2016, Dhaka district and session court Judge SM Kuddus Zaman framed charges against the accused and passed an order to begin the trial.

But it got barred as most of the accused appealed to the higher court challenging legality of the order.

On Monday after clearing the appeals, district and session court judge AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan recorded the statement of plaintiff, then sub-inspector of Savar police station Wali Ashraf.

The court set 16 February to record the statements next.

Prime accused in the case, owner of Rana Plaza Sohel Rana is currently in jail while 40 others are on bail.

According to the case statement, On 24 April 2013, Rana Plaza, an illegally-constructed building in Savar which housed five garment factories, came down crashing upon 5,500 workers.

Bodies of 1,138 people were recovered in the incident while over 2,000 others suffered injuries and got paralysed.

Over the tragic incident then SI of Savar police station Wali Ashraf filed a murder case accusing the owner and others of dereliction and negligence in building construction.

On 1 June 2015, assistant superintendent of Crime Investigation Department (CID) of police Bijoy Krishna Kar submitted charge sheet in the case against 41 people including the building owner Sohel Rana.

A total of 594 people were made witnesses in this case.

Some other significant accused in the case are- Rana’s father Abdul Khaleque, Rana’s mother Morzina Begum, ATM Masud Reza, assistant professor(Architecture) of Khulna University, engineer Sazzd Hossain, Md Refatullah, Mayor of Savar Municipality, Uttam Kumar Roy, former executive officer of Savar Municipality, executive engineer Rafiqul Islam, former assistant engineer Mahbubur Rahman, former deputy-assistant engineer Rakibul Hasan Russel, former town planner Farzana Islam, license inspector Md Abdul Mottalib, former secretary of the municipality Morzina Khan, former secretary Md Abul Bashar, Md Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd, Bajlul Samad, MD of New Wave Bottoms Ltd, Md Anisur Rahman, chairman of Ether Tex Ltd.