A woman worker died amid protests and clashes with police in Gazipur garment workers rejecting the minimum wage announced by the government.
Another worker is under treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital after being shot.
Commissioner of Gazipur Metropolitan Police. Mahbub Alam said, rejecting the announcement of the minimum wage of 12,500 taka, the workers of some garment factories in Konabari and Zarun of Gazipur City Corporation went on protest on Wednesday morning. At one point they clashed with the police.
Killed Moses. Anjuara Khatun (24) is a sewing machine operator at Islam Garments in Konabari. Another worker named Jamal Uddin (42) was shot.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital police outpost inspector Bachchu Mia said that when the two injured people were brought to the hospital from Konabari, the doctor declared Anjuara Begum dead at 12:30 p.m. Jamal Uddin, who was shot, is undergoing treatment.
Arjina Begum, the mother of the deceased, said that Anjuara Begum is the wife of her brother Jamal Badsha, a garment worker in Chargris village of Kazipur police station in Sirajganj. They live in a rented house in Zarun area. The couple has a son and a daughter.
Jamal Uddin, who is under treatment in the hospital after being shot, said that he is the supervisor of Islam Garments. He was injured in police firing while going to office in the morning.
Later he was first rescued and taken to a local hospital. From there he was brought to Dhaka Medical for better treatment. The garment worker said that he is currently undergoing treatment in the emergency department.
Police, workers and witnesses said that the workers of various factories in Gazipur including Konabari, Kashimpur, Safipur and Mouchak have been agitating for a long time demanding a minimum salary of 23,000 taka.
Among them, the wage board proposed a minimum wage of Tk 12,500 for garment workers on Tuesday. Later, the workers announced to continue the agitation by rejecting the salary announced by the wage board.
In continuation of this, the garment workers started protesting after 7 am on Wednesday.
The workers of Standard Garments Limited, Ripon Knitwear Limited, Islam Garments and Bestall Sweaters in Konabari area and some other factories started protesting in front of the factory without joining the work. At this time, the authorities announced a factory holiday.
At around 8 am, hundreds of workers gathered in front of Kashimpur’s Zarun intersection and started marching with bricks and sticks in their hands. At one point, workers blocked various roads and set fire to wood and tires. Apart from this, they tried to vandalize various vehicles.
At one point, the agitated workers pelted bricks and stones at the police, and the police fired tear shells and sound grenades to control the situation. Later the agitated workers dispersed and proceeded towards Hatimara via Roshan Market.
The workers said that several of them were injured in the police attack.
AKM Ashraf Uddin, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Konabari Police Station of Gazipur Metropolitan Police said, “Although the workers were requested to remain calm, the workers got agitated and started throwing bricks and mortar at the police. At one point, the workers dispersed when the police fired tearshells to control the situation.”
Commissioner of Gazipur Metropolitan Police. Mahbub Alam said, “The workers have been protesting since Wednesday morning. We announced to them that you stay in your place, enter your factory, stop work if you don’t like the work but don’t vandalize any other factory. Don’t go to bring down the workers of any other factory.
“But when they did not listen to our instructions and tried to bring down workers from other factories, clashes broke out. Later, the police fired tear shells, sound grenades and brought the situation under control.”
Regarding the death of a woman in Dhaka Medical College, the police commissioner said, “During the clash, the woman may have fallen and got injured while running on the road. We have sent two people including him to Dhaka Medical for advanced surgery. He might die of excessive bleeding.”