Buriganga launch tragedy may be considered murder: Minister

The lawsuit over the Buriganga launch capsize, which killed 34 people, will be turned into a murder case, if it is found that the incident was a deliberate killing, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury.

“Video footages shows the capsize of (another) launch seemed a murder, and on top of that the killer launch has no fitness problem. If it is found that the incident was a deliberate murder the case will be shifted under Section 302 of the Penal Code for showing negligence,” he said on Tuesday.

The state minister made the statement while addressing media at his secretariat in the capital after unveiling the ministry’s probe report on the capsize of ‘MV Morning Bird’ launch on the Buriganga River on June 29.

Chowdhury, however, didn’t disclosed any specific reason behind the incident. “The cause of the accident can’t be revealed (for now) for the sake of investigation into the case,” he said.

The probe report placed a 20-point recommendation including no longer allowing any vessels to operate without fitness.
Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, secretary to the Shipping Ministry, read out the recommendations filed by the probe committee at the briefing.

Necessary steps would be taken to stop the movement of unfit launches, the minister assured.
The ministry formed two probe bodies including a seven-strong committee following the incident that took place at Shyambazar area, adjacent to the capital’s Sadarghat.

The seven-member body was given seven days to report to the ministry while both committees filed reports on Monday.
Probe found the lack of skills of the both vessels’ masters.

The “MV Morning Bird’ capsized with more than 100 people on board on the Buriganga after it was hit by another vessel ‘Moyur-2’ hit while latter went backward.

The following day, Sub-Inspector (SI) of Sadarghat River Police Station Shamsul Alam filed the case with Keraniganj Dakshin Police Station.

Seven people Mosaddek Hanif Swad, 33, owner of Moyur-2, his employee Abul Bashar Molla, 65, launch master Jakir Hossain, 54, engine driver Shipon Hawlader, 45, Shakil Hasan, 28, Sukani Nasir Mridha, 40, and Ridoy, 24, were named in the case.
Police seized the killer launch but the owner and the driver managed to flee.