A mobile court of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has recovered a huge amount of chemicals stored in two residential buildings in the Tikatuli area of the capital and sealed off five shops in those buildings. Three were also detained in the drive.
RAB officials said they will file cases against the shop owners and employees for illegally storing these chemicals in residential buildings.
Executive magistrate Palash Kumar Bosu was carrying out the mobile court drive while this report was filed at 8pm.
RAB-3's assistant superintendent Robiul Islam said several chemical stores were operating in two buildings – one 10-storey and another 4-storey.
The shop owners had licences for limited scale chemical storing, but they had been operating shops in the residential buildings illegally for years and storing a large of amount of chemicals, said the RAB officer.
The detainees are Yaseen Scientific Store owner Abdus Salam, manager Nur Hossain and employee Shahin.
The drive took place as Old Dhaka residents are worried of explosions, after a recent chemical explosion in the Beirut port of Lebanon that left at least 137 people, including several Bangladeshis, dead.
The mobile court seized ethanol, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, isopropyl alcohol, hydrochloric acid, methanol, and some other chemicals, said the executive magistrate.
On February 20, 2019, at least 70 people were devoured and scores others injured with at least six buildings getting badly damaged in a fire that originated from a chemical warehouse located at a commercial building on Nanda Kumar Dutta Lane, Churihatta of Chawk Bazar, barely 2.5 kilometres from Nimtoli.