Located at Pukurpar in Zirabo of Ashulia, Picard Bangladesh Ltd, a Bangladesh-German joint venture, came under attack from the workers at around 3pm as its owners, like many readymade garment factories in the area, did not give in to their sudden call for production suspension.

“At least 50 of our staffers, most of them female, became victims of the attack. Over 25 of them were hospitalised with severe injuries”, Musleh Uddin Ahmed, a Deputy Manager (store) of the factory, told The Daily Star.

Picard Bangladesh, which employs 1,200 people, manufactures leather handbags, briefcases and small leather goods for export. Apart from manufacturing their own brands, it produces products for customers based in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan and Singapore, according to the company’s website.

Witnesses and officials said the trouble started with a fire panic at the factory of Mascot Group in the area, which left 50 of its workers wounded and prompted its owners into declaring the remaining day off for workers at its three factories.

When its workers came out of the factory, those in other factories in the area followed suit fearing attacks.

Garment workers gathered on the road in front of Picard Bangladesh demanding production suspension at the factory witnesses said.

Several hundred workers broke open the main gate and attacked all the units housed in three separate buildings of the factory in around an hour of the rampage, the witnesses said.

They also damaged six vehicles, which were parked on the factory premises.

A visit to the factory after the vandalism revealed that all glass windows and furniture of the building had been damaged, vehicles smashed and flower tubs in the garden broken. Ashes caused by fire were seen at the main entrance of the factory.

During the attacks, around 15 policemen were seen hiding for safety inside a building in front of the leather factory when the attackers looted valuables and vandalised the factories, creating a panick situation among the workers, security guards and officials of the factory.