‘Nothing’ found in footage

sexual assault protest

With identities of the sexual offenders in Tuesday’s incident on the Dhaka University campus still unknown, everyone was looking to the CCTV footage gathered from the scene for some clues about the perpetrators.

However, after scrutinising an hour-long CCTV footage recorded between 6:00pm and 7:00pm on the day, the time when the assault happened, Prof Amzad Ali, acting proctor of DU, said he did not find anything relating to the assault during Pahela Baishakh celebrations.

Amzad said the footage in places suggests an aggressive person, around 30, is moving towards some men and women.

“It was not clear whether he was assaulting people,” he said.

Abdul Baten, deputy commissioner (Ramna division) of DMP, said police too scrutinised the CCTV footage but could not find any incident of assault.

Meanwhile, the High Court yesterday directed the inspector general of police and the DU vice chancellor to investigate the incident and submit separate reports by May 17.

Issuing a suo moto rule, the HC asked the authorities concerned to incorporate in the reports what steps have been taken against the offenders, Deputy Attorney General Tapash Kumar Biswas told The Daily Star.

Nineteen CCTV cameras were installed in the area as part of tight security measures taken by Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Baten said the footage shows that a group of rowdy youths playing vuvuzela were rushing through people near the Suhrawardy Udyan gate.

“We are not clear about any incident of sexual assault but it is true that an incident happened,” he said, adding that he visited the spot and talked with people who were present there during the incident.

In answer to a query about ASI Ashraf’s role in releasing the offenders, Baten said the ASI had denied having received any man.

Contacted, ASI Ashraf also denied having detained anyone.

THE HC RULE

In the rule, the HC asked the government and the DU authorities to explain in four weeks as to why they should not be directed to take appropriate legal steps against the perpetrators.

The home secretary, the IGP, the DU VC, the DMP commissioner, the deputy commissioner (Ramna division) of DMP and the officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station have been made respondents to the rule.

The HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman also fixed May 17 for passing further order on this issue, DAG Tapash said.

The bench came up with the order and rule following the reports published by four national dailies–The Daily Star, the Prothom Alo, the Jugantor and the Amader Shomoy yesterday — over the incidents.

CASE FILED

Shahbagh police on Wednesday night sued unknown miscreants over allegations of the incident.

In the first information report, Abul Kalam Azad, sub-inspector of Shahbagh Police Station, claimed to have learned about the incident from a number of eye witnesses including Liton Nandi, Amit Dey and Tuhin Kanti Das, and also from the DU acting proctor Prof Amzad.

Quoting the sources, the FIR stated some rowdy youths sexually assaulted women from a crowd of several thousand people.

According to the FIR, police rushed to the scene immediately but found nothing at all to establish the matter. They could not identify any victim; nor did they receive complain from anyone regarding the assault.

DU SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMMITTEE

The DU committee to Prevent Sexual Harassment yesterday asked eyewitnesses to provide documentary evidence of the sexual assault on the DU campus Tuesday evening.

“The Dhaka University Committee to Prevent Sexual Harassment launched a probe into the incident of sexual harassment that took place at the Suhrawardy Udyan gate near the TSC on Pahela Baishakh,” says a press release.

Source: The Daily Star

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