Gas was leaking from an abandoned pipeline in the basement which was damaged during the construction of Baitus Salam Mosque where a blast earlier this month killed 31 people, a Titas Gas probe committee said in its report Thursday.
Headed by Titas Gas General Manager Abdul Wahab, the committee submitted its report to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
“The mosque has two electricity lines — one legal and another illegal. During a power outage around Esha prayer, the muazzin switched to another line. There was a spark which caused the fire and air conditioner blast,” Wahab explained in the report submitted to Senior Secretary Anisur Rahman.
Wahab claimed that the committee did not find any evidence that a Titas employee had demanded Tk 50,000 in bribe to repair the damaged pipeline.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the ministry will examine the report and identify the negligence of people responsible for the blast.
“Nobody will be spared if found guilty. We’re yet to go through the report. It’ll help us identify the persons responsible for their negligence,” he told reporters.
Hamid said the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) is investigating how the mosque managed to get an illegal connection.
He said the inquiry report will be made public through the ministry’s website.
Some 40 people suffered burns after air conditioners of the mosque exploded during Esha prayers in Fatullah, Narayanganj on September 4.
Locals said the incident took place when the devotees had just finished their prayers. An air conditioner went off and sparked a fire inside the mosque. Later, the remaining six ACs exploded, injuring 40 devotees.
Petrobangla Chairman ABM Abdul Fattah and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd Managing Director Ali Mohammad Al Mamun were present during the submission of the report on Thursday.
The High Court (HC) on Thursday ordered the authorities concern to explain why the Ramna Park that was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic has not been reopened.
Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam’s bench issued the order after hearing a writ petition seeking reopening of the park.
The court also fixed September 24 for the next hearing.
Advocate Yusuf Ali Akanda stood for the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Nur us Sadik represented the state.
The writ petition sought HC directive to reopen the park within 24 hours and a rule seeking explanation why the decision to keep it closed should not be declared illegal.
Advocate Ali said the park’s closure has curbed the people’s right to free movement. Many diabetes patients are facing health risks as they are unable to walk and do physical exercise in the park.
A Dhaka court on Thursday fixed November 17 for hearing on charge framing in Barapukuria coalmine corruption case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others.
Dhaka Special Judges’ Court Judge AHM Ruhul Imran passed the order after granting time petition filed by Khaleda’s lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukdar.
The time petition was filed on ground of Khaleda’s ailment, Talukdar said.
Earlier on August 20, the court set September 17 for holding hearing on charge framing in Barapukuria Coal Mine graft case.
On February 26, 2008, the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station accusing 16 people, including Khaleda and 10 of her former cabinet colleagues, of taking Tk 159 crore 71 lakh in kickbacks on the Barapukuria coalmine deal which was awarded to the highest bidder instead of the lowest one.
However, among the 16 accused, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed were executed for their crimes against humanity while former Finance Minister Saifur Rahman, BNP leader Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and former Petrobangla chairman AR Osmani have already died.
On October 5, 2008, the ACC pressed charges against the accused in the Barapukuria graft case.
Responding to a petition filed by Khaleda, the HC on October 16, 2008 stayed the case proceedings and issued a rule asking the ACC to explain why the case should not be quashed.
The Appellate Division later upheld the stay order as well, leaving the corruption case in the cold.
Later on September 17, 2015, the HC lifted the stay order resuming the trial proceedings of the case.
The High Court on Thursday issued three rules asking the authorities concerned to explain why Pirojpur court order granting bail to former Awami League lawmaker AKMA Awal and his wife Layla Parvin in three separate graft cases, would not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Ahmed Sohel came up with the rules after hearing of three petitions filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Lawyer Khurshid Alam stood for the ACC, deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin Manik for state and lawyer Sheikh Ausafur Rahman for Awal couple.
AKM Amin Uddin said that the HC issued three rules in three cases seeting explanation within three weeks.
Khurshid Alam said AKMA Awal was accused in three cases and his wife in one case. They appeared before the court on January 7 in the three cases and sought interim bail. The High Court granted them bail for eight weeks.
On March 3, they surrendered before the court of Pirojpur district and sessions judge Md Mannan.
The court ordered the authorities concerned to send Awal and his wife to jail, rejecting their bail prayers in three corruption cases.
Later, Mannan was stand released within four hours after he rejected the bail petition of Awal and his wife Lyla Parveen in the cases.
Later, acting district and sessions judge Nahid Nasrin granted them bail for two months following a review petition filed by the accused.
On December 30, 2019 Deputy Director Md Ali Akbar of ACC Barishal unit filed the three cases.
According to the case statement, Awal occupied a portion of government land behind the Land Office in Pirojpur Sadar Upazila and built a two-storied building on it.
He also rented the building to Pally Bidyut Samity and the rent agreement was signed by his wife Lyla.
Awal was elected from ruling Awami League from the Pirojpur-1 constituency in 2008 and 2014 elections.
Regent Group Chairman Mohammad Shahed Karim claimed himself completely innocent while giving his self-defence statement at a court on Wednesday in a case filed for keeping illegal arms.
He gave the statement before Judge KM Imrul Kayes of the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court.
“No arms were recovered from me, I’m completely innocent and expecting justice from the court,” Shahed said.
The court fixed September 17, to present arguments of the state.
Recording testimonies of the witnesses in the case were completed on Tuesday.
Earlier, members of Rab arrested Shahed from a bordering area of Satkhira on July 15.
Rab members also recovered a firearm, some bullets and foreign currencies from his possession.
Law enforcers raided Mirpur and Uttara branches of Regent Hospital on July 6 on charge of issuing fake Covid-19 certificates and charging the admitted patients exorbitant fees.
The Regent Group head office along with both the hospitals was sealed off and 16 people, including the chairman, were sued on charge of issuing fake coronavirus test reports.