Bodies of the Buriganga launch capsize victims
Bodies of the Buriganga launch capsize victimsDipu Malakar

State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Tuesday said that if deaths in Buriganga launch capsize are proved as murder, the lawsuit filed over negligence will be considered as a murder one, reports news agency UNB.

He was addressing a press conference at the secretariat on the report of the probe committee formed by the ministry to investigate into the incident.

A five-member committee, headed by joint secretary Rafiqul Islam Khan, submitted its report on Monday night with 20 recommendations.

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However, the state minister did not say anything about the cause of the accident and persons held responsible in the report.

He said the law enforcement filed a case in connection with the incident. The case report will be released on 17 August. The cause of the accident mentioned in the report of the investigation committee was not disclosed.

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The government is trying to ensure that the relatives of the victims will get relief and legal justice. The 20-point recommendations will be implemented in phases, Khalid said.

He said the government is working to create safe waterways and to introduce Vessel Traffic System (VTS).

It will be possible to control accidents if VTS is launched and digitised, said the state minister.

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He further said that efforts have been made to bring the maritime sector under discipline in the last 11 years like other sectors of the country. VTS, Training Institute, Training Vessel have been launched. There was only one Marine Academy in Bangladesh. The number has been increased to four. Dockyard relocation activities are underway on the other side of Sadarghat.

Shipping secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury presented the 20-point recommendations of the committee to the newsmen.

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Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority chairman commodore Golam Mohammad Sadeq, among others, was present on the occasion.

Dhaka-bound ‘MV Morning Bird’ launch carrying around 150 passengers from Munshiganj sank in after being hit by another launch ‘Mayur-2’ near Shyambazar, Dhaka on 29 June.

The bodies of 34 people were recovered in the incident.