Govt inaction encouraging rapists: rally

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Politicians, academics, artistes, right activists and national minority people on Sunday blamed the government’s indifference and inaction for the alarming rise in the incidents of rape and sexual harassment of women.
At a protest rally in front of the National Museum in the capital, they demanded immediate arrest of the miscreants who on Thursday had dragged a Garo woman into a microbus in Kuril and gang-raped her on the running vehicle.
Hundreds of people joined the rally, organised by more than 30 rights organisations, which ended with a vow not to leave the streets until the perpetrators of all such crimes in recent times were brought to justice.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong, who chaired the rally, announced a protest rally at the Central Shaheed Minar for May 30 against sexual assault on women.
He said the government must take the responsibility for the assault on the Garo woman and demanded immediate arrest and trial of the culprits and security of women.
The Garo woman was waiting for a bus to go home from her workplace when the miscreants picked her up.
Addressing the rally, Ain o Salish Kendra executive director Sultana Kamal said the gang-rape of the Garo woman was a planned crime.
‘The law enforcement agencies must answer why there has been no headway into the investigation and why three police stations — Bhatara, Khilkhet and Uttara — refused to file a case over the matter on that night,’ she said.
Gana Sanghati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki said the incidents of sexual assault were rising due to ‘government protection of the perpetrators’.
Theatre activist Mamunur Rashid said protests were raging against sexual harassment of women since the incident of Pahela Baishakh, but the government did not even come up with any statement over such incidents.
Communist Party of Bangladesh leader Abdullah Al Kafi Ratan said it was time for people to give a reply to the government’s indifference to growing incidents of rape and sexual harassment.
Dhaka University teachers Robayet Ferdous said the gang-rape of the Garo woman was an example of how vulnerable and helpless the indigenous people were in the society.
Workers Party of Bangladesh general secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha, academics Razib Mir and Shyamoli Shil, Nijera Kori coordinator Khushi Kabir and Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad presidium member Kajal Devnath, among others, spoke.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) condemned the gang-rape of the Garo woman on a running microbus on Friday.
NHRC acting chairman Kazi Riazul Haque, in a statement, expressed grave concern over the barbaric act and demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators.
Earlier, a team of NHRC led by its acting chairman visited the victim at ‘One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC)’ at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital and urged the hospital authorities to provide her with necessary treatment.
Source: New Age

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