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Garment workers clash with police in Tongi; 20 hurt

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 2 February, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The BSIC industrial belt of Tongi and its nearby areas in Gazipur turned into a battlefield on Tuesday as garments workers locked horns with police over closure of their factory.

At least 20 people, including five policemen, were injured in the clash that ensued around 8:00am.

The agitating workers also went on rampage, blocking the roads and vandalising at least four garment factories.

The factories are located in Tongi’s BSIC industrial area.

Later, three factories gave leave for one day. The clash continued for several hours and turned the entire BSIC and its nearby areas into a mini-battlefield, witnesses said.

Deputy Commissioner (Crime-South) of Gazipur Metropolitan Police Mohammad Iltutmish said that workers of the Tivli Apparels Limited factory blocked the road in the morning and started protest.

"At one point, they started vandalising four factories. Police fired 30 shotguns, 10 sound grenades and six tear gas shells to disperse them,” he said.

Five policemen and 10 workers were injured in the incident, the deputy commissioner said.

Sanwar Hossain, a worker at Tivley Apparels Limited, said a production manager assaulted a female worker in the factory's finishing section last Saturday.

When the matter came to light, the workers went on strike on the same day and demanded 12 points from the authorities.

On Sunday and Monday, the workers came to the factory but did not join the work.  

The authorities later closed the factory indefinitely on Tuesday morning and hung a notice.

When the workers saw the notice in the morning, they became angry and blocked the road with the procession.

Tongi East Police SI Yassin Arafat said the workers threw bricks at Radisson Garments Limited.

The police later dispersed them. “Then, the workers gathered at Sumi Apparels Limited, RBSR Fashion Limited and BSIC Fakir Market and clashed with the police. They were dispersed with shotgun shells, sound grenades and tear gas," said SI Yassin.

He said the owners of Sumi Apparels Limited, RBSR Fashion Limited and Radisson Apparels Limited announced a holiday on Tuesday. Now the situation is normal. Police have been deployed there.