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Women rights groups demand judicial inquiry to the violence against indigenous women including killing, rape and abduction
rights groups demanded judicial inquiry to the alarming violence
against indigenous women including killing, rape and abduction across
the country and immediate action against such incidents.
demand was rasied in a joint press conference organised by Bangladesh
Indigenous Women Network, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Bangladesh Nari
Progati Sangha and Karmajibi Nari in facilitation of Kapaeeng Foundation
on 16 June 2012 at 11.00 am at Reporters’ Unity in Dhaka.
press conference was attended by Rokeya Rofique Beby of Karmajibi Nari,
Humaira Khatun of Bangladesh Mahil Parishad, Shahnaz Sumi of Bangladesh
Nari Progati Sangha, Minu Mrong and Nishi Dewan of Bangladesh
Indigenous Women Network, Lina Jesmine Lushai of Kapaeeng Foundation and
Chanchana Chakma of Hill Women’s Federation. Convenor of Bangladesh
Indigenous Women Network Minu Mrong read out the written statement on
recent violence against indigenous women.
the written statement, women rights group said that murder, rape and
violence against indigenous women and children in various parts of the
country have been increasing at an alarming rate, particularly in the
Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). They said that at least 19 incidents on
violence against indigenous women in 2012 have been documented. Of them,
2 indigenous girls whose aged 7 and 11 years were brutally killed after
rape while 10 indigenous women were raped. Besides, 2 indigenous girls
were abducted. Of them, 19 incidents were committed by Bengali
miscreants and 1incident by an indigenous man in plain land.
organisations said that the figure only includes the reported incidents
of rape, murder and abduction, adding that the actual number of such
incidents of violence against indigenous women is much more. Several
incidents have not come in public due to further harassment from
influential group, local administration and law-enforcing forces or
family and social barriers in the society. Even, many victims and
families have been too afraid to file a case in fear.
incidents against indigenous women were committed by the Bengali
miscreants with the intension to occupy land of indigenous peoples. In
case of CHT, the incidents continue due to the non-implementation of the
CHT Accord. Hence indigenous women in plain and CHT are passing their
life with fears and insecurity.
response to the questions of the journalist, executive director of
Karmajibi Nari Rakeya Rofique Baby said that the biggest concern in rape
and other violence against indigenous women is the lack of access to
justice and absolute impunity that perpetrators enjoy. The State failed
to provide security of all women of the country, she added.
director of Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha Shahnaz Sumi said that local
influential and land grabbers remained involved in rape, murder or
support the accused, which prevented justice. She said no example of
punishment against such violence, the impunity enjoyed so far, was the
main reason which emboldened the miscreants to commit such abhorrent
crimes across the country.
of Bangladesh Indigenous Women Network Nishi Dewan said justice for
abduction of Kalpana Chakma is yet to be achieved. Due to fail to bring
culprit into the justice, violence against indigenous women is
continuing. She said they protested almost every incident and submit
memorandum to the prime minister, demanding trial but did not get proper
responses. Implementation of the CHT Accord of 1997 could lessen the
violence against indigenous women in the CHT.
In the press conference, the women's rights organisations put following demands to the government of Bangladesh:
form a judicial inquiry commission to investigate the recent incidents
of repression indigenous women including killing after rape of 7 year
old Sagari Oraon and 11 year old grade IV girl Sujata Chakma;
(2)To provide adequate compensation to affected and victimised indigenous women and their families;
(3)To probe all human rights violation on indigenous women by the National Human Rights Commission;
recognise collective and individual land rights of indigenous peoples
in accordance with international standards and customs and usages of
(5)To issue special instruction to the law-enforcing agencies to provide security of indigenous women;
(6)To declare roadmap with timeframe for proper and speedy implementation of CHT Accord.