PM on Mosque Construction: Ensure proper plan for safety



Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told parliament that it is necessary to look into whether mosques are constructed according to the designs and with permissions from the authorities concerned so that incidents like the Narayanganj mosque blast never recur.

Describing the blast as a tragedy, she said there were many mosques that were being built without proper planning, while air-conditioners were also being installed without following due instructions.

“Therefore, it’s now absolutely essential to oversee if the place is suitable for construction of a structure or permission is taken from the authorities concerned or whether the design of the structure is made properly. Otherwise, such incidents [like the Narayanganj mosque blast] might occur anytime,” the PM said.

She was participating in a discussion on a condolence motion at the demise of two sitting ruling Awami League MPs — Sahara Khatun and M Israfil Alam — as well as former president of India Pranab Mukherjee.

In her speech, the PM said the government has already asked the authorities to unearth the causes behind Friday night’s mosque explosion that claimed 25 lives so far and left several injured.

“I have directed the cabinet secretary and the other authorities concerned to find out what caused the blast.”

She said experts have visited the place of occurrence and samples are being collected to this end.

The Leader of the House also directed all to find out whether the explosion took place due to irregularities in taking permission to build a mosque over a gas pipeline or whether the mosque was lacking proper power connections for the six air conditioners in such a small space.

She added, “Did Rajuk give permission [for the construction of a mosque over a gas pipeline]?… It [such permissions] should not be given. Because, there is always a risk and now that will be under investigation.”

Hasina asked the authorities concerned to look into whether air conditioners are being installed in an unplanned manner at mosques across the country and also whether mosques are being built on unauthorised grounds.

She said her government has taken all possible measures to provide proper treatment to the burn victims.

The PM also said she is getting frequent updates about those injured from Dr Samanta Lal Sen, chief coordinator of Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute.

BDR MUTINY

Recalling Sahara Khatun’s role during the 2009 BDR mutiny, Hasina said the incident occurred just 52 days after the AL had formed the government, and those who could not come to power at that time were behind the tragedy.

Talking about BNP and some other quarters “spreading rumours on different occasions about the BDR mutiny”, the AL chief said, “We’d just formed the government. Why would we carry out such an incident?”

She also said that of the army officers killed in the mutiny, 33 were from AL-leaning families.

“The truth must come out someday,” she hoped.

Hasina said Sahara, then minister for home affairs, had risked her life when she visited Pilkhana to receive the arms surrendered by the mutineers as well as rescue the stranded army officers and their families. 

“We saw her courage during the BDR mutiny,” she added.

Several other MPs of the treasury and opposition benches, including Jatiya Party’s GM Quader and Moshiur Rahman Ranga, and BNP’s Harunur Rashid also took part in the discussion on the condolence motion.

The motion was adopted unanimously.

Names of some other distinguished personalities who died since the prorogation of the 8th session of the current parliament on July 9 also came up in the discussion.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury moved the motion immediately after the House went into its ninth sitting around 11:05am.





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