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Wednesday 5th
posted by Morning Star in World

by Siam Sarower Jamil in Dhaka

BANGLADESHI Marxist writer Farhad Mazhar was rescued from kidnappers in the early hours of yesterday — soon after further deaths among the sweatshop workers he campaigns for.

The veteran labour rights activist was freed in a midnight raid by the police’s elite anti-terrorist Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from a location in the western border district of Jessore.

An earlier raid in the southern city of Khulna proved fruitless.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman confirmed the details to the Morning Star.

He said Mr Mazhar had been taken to the Detective Branch office in the capital Dhaka where he was likely to be questioned on his ordeal.

His wife Farida Akhter embraced him on his return but expressed concern for his wellbeing.

“I don’t think he has taken his medicine on time,” she said. “I am very upset seeing him in this condition. I have never seen him like this before.”

Mr Mazhar, a newspaper columnist and founder of Policy Research Development Alternatives (Ubinig) was abducted near the capital on Monday morning. His captors demanded a 3.5 million tak (£33,400) ransom.

Meanwhile, local police chief Aminul Islam said 10 people died and 50 were injured when a boiler exploded at the Mutifabs garment factory in Kashimpur, near Dhaka.

Mr Islam said the search for more victims was continuing. Relatives said about six people remained missing.

Multifabs says it makes 140,000 items of knitwear a day for export.

Bangladesh’s rag trade is notorious for neglecting workers’ safety, as evidenced by the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,135 people.