A fire destroyed the Krishi market in Mohammadpur, Dhaka last week. It was the latest example of a market that has been on fire lately. In April of this year, two markets – Bangabazar and New Super Market – burned to ashes. It goes without saying to explain the misery into which these fires have left thousands of families without opportunities for retreat and almost without the opportunity to build their businesses from scratch. Fabrics, clothes, jewelry, rice and other essential items simply disappeared in the flames.
Why are these fires exploding? And why always at night? There have also been devastating fires in previous cases, which were difficult for the fire brigade to control and which destroyed shops and markets at night. Of course, the authorities – and they are all part of the municipal enterprises, as well as others – regularly informed the public about their finding that all these fires are caused by electrical short circuits.
If the problem is short circuits, how do they occur at night? In the case of the Krishi market, it was said that three stores that were far from each other caught fire at the same time. And then the fire spread. Should we now assume that the electrical short circuits in these three stores started in a mysterious, even ghostly way and then consumed the entire market? Our questions are then connected with accusations from affected traders that something is terribly wrong when markets catch fire in this way. Translate that into simple language: it’s an arson attack that could take place here.
For the authorities, who have quickly launched investigations into these fires over the years, it simply will not be appropriate to give such vain explanations for the fact that the electricity went out, which was a shame for these traders, who, even lying in bed at home, had their future on fire in the darkness of the night. Of course, fires can occur at any time, even in daylight. But how is it that there is no electrical short circuit when people shop at our markets during the day?
It is an issue that requires a thorough investigation. It is estimated that after a fire, the company’s authorities will quickly take measures to rehabilitate the affected dealers. But they need to do more, using the services of organizations, to penetrate into the depths of the causes of fire. It is not a matter of course that fires occur as in recent months. Traders affected by these fires have always suspected the involvement of sinister elements in these tragic events. There are those who mince words to indicate that such fires occur because there are elements that have greed – this hunger for more prosperity, this excessive desire to appropriate land – in their hearts. And greed ignites these fires. It is a suspicion, an accusation, an accusation that should not be taken lightly. It needs to be investigated in the wider public interest.
And now about the drama that took place last week at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a 12-year-old boy. The imagination can not imagine how he managed to get on a Kuwait Airways flight that was about to take off without anyone following his movements and stopping him. He was on the plane without the crew knowing that he was probably a stowaway, until the seat he had to take belonged to someone else. The boy was taken out of the plane, which was natural. He was handed over to the surprise family and returned home. And the house was located outside the capital of the nation.
The problem is now more complex than that of a 12-year-old dodging security, all their shifts, and boarding that Kuwait Airways plane. How do the civil aviation and airport authorities explain the whole episode? The Civil Aviation Authority has told the nation that those responsible for the dirty story will be held accountable for their negligence, that they will face the music. Should that be enough? Is it not logical to demand that the entire Civil Aviation Administration and all persons involved in airport security be replaced or reorganized as a result of the incident? This 12-year-old boy was a minor incident, as some people might assume.
Was that it? What if an armed young man with anger in his behavior and terrorism in his eyes managed to get on the plane? If no passenger can escape from security, from the entrance to the airport to boarding, during all this check-in, presenting the passport at the flight counter, withdrawing the boarding pass, passing through passport control with the boarding pass in hand and waiting in front of the counter to be waved, how did this boy go through all this without worries? Before boarding, the person is expected to take off shoes, belts and other items that require a thorough examination. How could this child walk around this area so easily?
Let’s be honest. The episode has shown all of us that Dhaka Airport is plagued by serious and serious errors at a time when strict security measures are in place around the world. And what would have happened if the passenger assigned to the seat on the plane that the boy was supposed to take had not actually appeared, if there had been no legitimate occupant for this seat? The flight would have taken off to Kuwait, where this boy would have landed. And then there would have been an even bigger scandal for the civil aviation authorities of Bangladesh.
It is clear that the boy was taken out of the flight before he got into the sky. Would there be someone else in his place? Would there have been a burly, wild, armed young man who was determined to plunge the whole country into a state of chaos with his action? We certainly wouldn’t want to imagine what could have happened. We are definitely looking forward, because the incident with the 12-year-old boy who got on a flight is now behind us.
But the disturbing mystery remains. Why and how did all this happen? And does the Ministry of Civil Aviation intend to act in this case? And will the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Civil Aviation open an investigation into the whole incident, call in senior civil aviation and airport officials and question them about this collective failure, which was an omen of danger and certainly did not raise our prestige in the world?
The operation of an airport and ensuring the safety of aircraft and flights are much more important than the organization of joyful opening trips to foreign airports by the national airline with dignitaries who have nothing to do with these flights. It is currently essential to ensure that foreign airlines arriving and departing from Bangladesh are safe and that our airports have impenetrable security arrangements. Where are the men and women who are supposed to do the work?