Sohel Rana (businessman)

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Sohel Rana
Bornc. 1977 (age 44–45)
NationalityBangladeshi
Political partyBangladesh Awami League
Criminal chargeCorruption
Criminal penalty6 months in jail

Mohammad Sohel Rana (born 1977) is the owner of Rana Plaza[1] which collapsed in Savar, a sub-district near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. He is a Jubo League leader of Bangladesh Awami League.[2]

Rana Plaza collapse[edit]

Rana and his father Abdul Khalek built Rana Plaza in 2006, after they reportedly had bullied off co-owners and falsified deeds to acquire full possession. He obtained permits from political allies to expand the building to five floors.[3] On 23 April 2013, explosion-like sounds led people to bring in an engineer to inspect the building. After observing large cracks in supporting columns, the engineer fled the building and urged everyone to evacuate. Rana, who fielded local journalists on the bottom floor, told these reporters that the plaster on the wall was broken.[3] The next day, Rana and the factory owners urged workers to return to their jobs. When a generator on an upper floor switched on and shook the building, the building collapsed, killing 1,134 people and wounding an estimated 2,500 others. Rana's building was not built to facilitate factories. It was built to store shops and other small stores. Rana Plaza was not strong enough to handle the vibrations and power from the heavy machinery used by factories.[4]

Arrest and trial[edit]

Rapid Action Battalion members arrested Sohel Rana from Benapole in Jessore District on 28 April 2013, four days after the Savar tragedy.[5]

In March 2014, Rana was granted six months' bail in the High Court. This prompted angry reactions from labour leaders. However, Rana was not released from jail as other charges filed by police were pending.[6]

On 29 August 2017, Rana was sentenced to a maximum three year imprisonment by a court for failing to declare his personal wealth to Bangladesh's anti-graft commission.[7] The trials for murder and other charges were delayed due to appeals to the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.[8] The murder trial resumed in February 2022.[9] Rana, his parents Abdul Khaleque and Morjina Begum, and 34 others were charged with causing the deaths of the workers, along with four others charged for sheltering Rana.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sohel Rana's father arrested in city". Bangla News 24. 29 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013.
  2. ^ Mustafa, Sabir; Islam, Shyadul (3 May 2013). "Profile: Rana Plaza owner Mohammad Sohel Rana". BBC News.
  3. ^ a b Jim Yardley (30 April 2013). "Bangladesh Garment Industry Reliant on Flimsy Oversight". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Jim Yardley (22 May 2013). "Report on Bangladesh Building Collapse Finds Widespread Blame". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Alam, Julhas (28 April 2013). "Collapsed building owner arrested on India border". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Bail for Rana Plaza owner". The Daily Star. 24 March 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Rana Plaza collapse: Sohel Rana jailed for corruption". BBC News. 29 August 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "Rana Plaza owner jailed for three years over corruption". Al Jazeera. 30 August 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "Murder trial over Bangladesh factory collapse resumes after five years". France 24. 2022-02-01. Retrieved 2022-05-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Rana Plaza disaster: Trials still in infancy 6 years after charge framing". Dhaka Tribune. 2022-04-24. Retrieved 2022-05-24.

Further reading[edit]