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Man gets compensation for wife’s death after legal battle

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Nur Banu Begum, 40, wife of Peyar Ahmed of Ostogram village in Nangolkot under Comilla, was working on the rooftop of an under construction building of SF Denim Garments at 430-431 Tejgaon Industrial Area in Dhaka city on September 28, 2007.

At one stage of work at about 8:00am, she fell down from fifth floor of the under construction building, leaving her critically injured.

She was rushed to the Metropolitan Hospital at the city’s Mohakhali and later shifted her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared her dead at about 9:00am.

 

The body was taken to her house at Rail Line Slum of Tejgaon at about 5:00pm on the day. Peyer Ahmed, husband of Nur Banu, said that engineer of Denim Garments Ataur Rahman told them that they should take to the body to their village as his employer [owner of Demnim] is a very nice man and banks remained closed for Friday. Ataur also assured them of providing proper compensation.

Based on the commitment of Ataur, the body was sent to her village home at Chinerchar in Islampur of Jamalpur district on the day.

Later, the victim’s family members contacted with the company authority several times but the company did not pay heed to their repeated requests for compensation. Even, husband of the victim Peyer Ahmed wrote a letter to the Managing Director of Denim on November 10, 2007 requesting for the compensation.

In the meantime, a team of investigator investigated the incident on January 5, 2008 following a report published in the daily Sangbad on September 29, 2007.

Safety and Rights contacted with the dependants of Nur Banu several times for realising compensation through a legal battle on behalf of the family free of cost. As the family sought legal help, Safety and Rights took initiative to file a case in this regard. Before filing the case, a letter was sent to the Denim Garments on May 15, 2008 requesting for the information about whether it provided compensation or not. As the company did not response to the letter, a legal notice was served to the garments authority on June 17, 2008 asking to response within two weeks. But the Denim Garments authority did not pay heed to reply to the notice. Finding no other alternative, a case was filed with First Labour Court of Dhaka on September 17, 2009 for compensation as per The Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006.

After the case proceedings, the court pronounced the verdict on May 26, 2009 asking the owner of the garment to pay Tk 1 lakh to the dependants of Nur Banu---husband Peyer Ahmed, 45, daughter Priya, 18, and sons Shanu Billal, 11, and Badsha, 7.

The dependants later received the money from the Denim Garment authority.

Source: ASK Investigation-16, victim’s family members and case documents.