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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

13 indigenous women and girls subjected to violence in two months in Bangladesh

In is very alarming that in two months from 11 September to 6 November 2014, at least 13 indigenous women and girls (eleven from Chittagong Hill Tracts and two from plain lands) have been subjected to violence including rape, attempt to rape, physical assault and abduction. Two indigenous girls (one is 13 year and another is 4 year old) have been raped by Bengali settlers in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Besides, three indigenous women and girls were physically assaulted, five have been attempted to rape, two young women rescued from captivity and one indigenous woman is attempted to kidnap. Among the victims, the age of five victims is above 18 years and eight victims is below 18.

One of the main causes behind the alarming situation of violence against indigenous women and girl is culture of impunity that enjoy the culprits. For example, 18 persons who have been accused to attack on Bichitra Tirku, an elected UP member and prominent indigenous woman activist, got bail without any punishment in Chapainawabganj district on 24 September 2014. On 4 August 2014, while Bichitra was working in her rice field along with her fellow workers, a group of miscreants led by Afzal Hossain, made an attack on her using sticks and sharp weapons in connection with grabbing the land which she inherited from her husband. A group of Members of Parliament visited the spot and victim and even they raised the issue in the parliament. Home Minister also assured the parliament and countrymen to take stern action against the culprits. Several protests have been organised and memorandum to the government authorities have been submitted by civic rights groups at national and local level. Media made huge coverage on this incidents. However, the 18 accused culprits who were arrested or surrendered to the Court have been granted bail.

An indigenous Garo women physically assaulted by owner of beauty parlor in Rajshahi

On 11 September 2014, in Rajshahi the owner of Senorita Beauty Salon Mohsin Shikdar physically assaulted Lisa Rongdi (a worker in the Beauty Salon). Lisa belongs to Garo indigenous community. When informed, Lisa’s husband Prokash Chimon went to the spot and rescued her. Then then admitted her to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. The next day, Lisa filed a case against Mohsin Shikdar at Rajpara Police Station.

Prokash Chimon informed that, at present Mohsin and his sister are not in a good relationship. Therefore, when Lisa went to Mohsin’s sister’s house, he was angry about it and then physically assaulted Lisa.

Lisa complained that, on that day Mohsin pulled her hair and threw her on the floor, it caused her wound on her head and forehead and her nose was bleeding. Mohsin then kicked her in the stomach as well as beaten her with a stick. She eventually loses her senses.

In the hospital, there is allegation that Mohsin’s wife Soma Shikdar influenced the authority not to provide treatment to the victim. That’s why Lisa went out from hospital without having proper treatment. Now Mohsin has been forcing Lisa in different ways for withdrawing the case filed against him.

In protest of this incident, on 16 September 2014, Narinirjaton Protirodh Committee (Women Repression Prevention Committee) organized a human chain and gathering at Shaheb Bazar Zero point in Rajshahi.

Speakers at the Human chain demanded that the perpetrators should be punished and justice need to be ensured immediately. They also urged the administration that the perpetrators should not get away with the crime with any political influence. They demanded for proper punishments of the perpetrators (Mohsin Shikdar and Soma Shikdar).

Abeda Raihan the President of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad of Rajshahi district presided over the gathering. Kalpana Roy, General Secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad of Rajshahi district and Shahin Akhtar of the Social Welfare Committee spoke in the gathering.

A minor Chakma girl attempted to rape in Naniarchar

On 2 October 2014 around at 4:00 pm a minor Chakma girl (14) from Nanakrum village was attempted to rape by a settler named Kabir Hossain (45), son of Abdur Rashid of Bogachari area of Burighat Union in Naniarchor Upazila under Rangamati district. It was reported that on the same day a case was filed accusing Kabir Hossain with Naniarchar police station at 10:30 pm under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. Police arrested the accused on the following day with the help local Bengalis from his house.

On that day, during the incident the victim was staying alone in her house. Knowing this, Kabir Hossain entered into house and forcefully taken the victim out from house and tried to take her to nearby jungle. The adolescent shouted and peoples from nearby houses came to rescue her. The accused run away from the scene immediately. It was reported that the perpetrator also attempted to rape her daughter in law before.

A minor Tripura girl raped by a Bengali settler in Khagrachari, alleged rapist handed over to the police

On 2 October, 2014 at 10:00 am a 13-year-old Tripura indigenous child have been raped by a Bengali settler in Ranyabari village under Bhaibonchara union of Khagrachari sadar upazila in Khagrachari district.

It is learnt that like any other day victim’s father went to forest early morning for collecting woods. Later, her mother went to the Bhaibonchara bazar to attend Durgapuja celebration at 8:00 am. Meanwhile, at around 10:00 am, Md. Zia Rahman (32), son of Md. Abdul Malek of Bhaibonchara village entered their house for a glass of water. At the time, after knowing no one is at home except the girl, Md. Zia held down her neck, did hit in her right hand, in head and also in face then escaped after forcibly raped. Then, when her mother returned home from Durgapuja celebration, found her daughter in endanger condition and got to know about the rape incident.

Later with the help of the girl, Mohammad Zia Rahman, a hired motor bike driver, was identified when returning on the road again (the house beside the road) and arrested him wants to know about the rape. Md Zia Rahman confessed his misdeed with the presence of the passenger on his motorcycle Hapreng Tripura, son of Suniti Kumar Tripura and offered to pay medical expenses.

At that time, victim’s mother rejected that offer and handed over accused rapist Md. Zia to the police. In this connection, Smritypurna Tripura, father of the victim filed a case with the Khagrachari sadar model police station under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. The case no. is– 02, dated 02/10/2014. Later, the victim was admitted to the Khagrachari Sadar Hospital for treatment and medical test.

Manipuri girl student stabbed at the classroom in Sylhet

On 11 October 2014 in the afternoon stalkers attacked Nandita Debi, a class X student of Syed Hatim Ali High School in Sylhet city. She belongs to indigenous Monipuri communty and is the daughter of Gunendra Sinha of Senpara at Shibganj in the city.

Students of the school alleged that Sakib, a local gangster, along with his two cohorts, stormed into the examination hall at about 1:30 pm and attacked Nandita when the test was about to start. They physically assaulted her and stabbed in her forehead before leaving the spot. She was admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital with stab injuries.

Quoting the victim, Manosh Singha, brother of victim said that Sakib and his friends used to harass his sister on her way to school and back. Sakib and his cohorts attacked my sister as she protested against the stalking, he said. Manosh alleged that some influential people of the neighborhood were pressing the family to refrain from filing a case with the police in this regard. Officer-in-charge of Shah Paran police station Shakhawat Hossain said that they had visited the spot and talked with the school authorities and parents of the girl. Stern action would be taken against the culprits after we receive a written complaint, he said.

On the same day at night Manosh Singha filed a case (no. 4) with Shahporan police station mentioning three persons name including Sakib and his father and 2/3 unknown persons. Accused persons are (1) Milad Ahmed, resident of shivganj Sonarpara, (2) Sakib, son of Milad Ahmed, resident of shivganj Sonarpara and (3) Mamun, address unknown.

An indigenous woman attempted to abduct by Bengali settlers in Kaukhali

On 15 October 2014, an indigenous Marma woman (27), resident of Baradalu village in Kaukhali upazila under Rangamati district was attempted to abduct by a Bengali Settler.
It is known that, on 15 October at around 11:00 pm, a single child mother went out of her house. Her Family member and neighbor started to find her out due to not returning house for long time.

After searching for hours around 2:30 am she was found in front of the mini-market near the Kaukhali BRAC office. Later police rescued her and handed over to upazila female vice chairman Anee Chakma. She was admitted to Kaukhali health complex. No case has been filed in connection with the incident so far.

Two school girls attempted to rape by three Bengali settlers in Longadu

On 15 October 2014, at noon two Jumma girl student have been attempted to rape by three young Bengali settlers in Bagachator union under Longadu upazila of Rangamati Hill District. Three accused miscreants were arrested with the help of the locals, but they have not handed over to the police. The case was socially dismissed when some local elders mediated by awarding light punishment to the perpetrators.

It is learnt that the victim girls are SCC examinee of local Ugalchari Mahajonpara High School. They both are around 15 year old and from Chiberega village under Bagachator union. On that day, they were returning together from school after the examination. On their way home at around 1:30 pm, when they arrived in a lonely place suddenly three settler youths blockaded their way and wanted to take them to nearby jungle forcefully. At that stage the girls exclaimed loudly and a Jumma youth who was also returning home behind the girls rushed the spot and the culprits fled away.

Three stalkers were identified as (i) Farhad (19) son of Sirajul Islam, (ii) Mohammad Yusuf (20) son of Mohammad Hanif Farid and (iii) Habib (20) son of Md. Sundar Ali of Marisyachara, Bagachatar Union.

Guardians of the victims immediately informed about the incident to the local chairman Abdul Gaffar Bhuiyan and sought for justice.

Chairman of Ugalachari Union Council and headmaster of Ugalchari High Cchool Abdur Rahim with the help of the local Bengalis arrested 3 youths. Later in the afternoon, at approximately 5:00 pm in the presence of chairman, headmaster, guardians and other local elders an arbitration was held. In the arbitration, the accused engagement was proved and they have given physical punishment. Further, bond has also taken from the culprits.

A four year old Chakma girl raped by a Bengali settler in Panchari

On 16 October 2014 in the evening a four year old Chakma girl was raped by a settler Bengali named Md. Lalan Mia (35) at Kanungo village under Panchari upazila (sub-district) in Khagrachari district.

It is learnt that, in the evening of that day around 4:00 pm, mother of the victim girl and one more woman went to the nearest watercourse/stream to take bath with their two children. After taking bath, they both returned home and left their children in the stream. In that scope Md. Lalan Mia, son of Farid Mia of Islampur village forcibly attempted to rape that child. Hearing girls screaming a neighbor rushed to the spot and Lalan Mian escaped from the scene. After then, that child was rescued in sanguinary situation and got admitted to the Panchari upazila hospital.

Two Tripura women attempted to rape by BGB personnel in Sajek

On 3 November 2014, two Tripura women attempted to rape by two soldiers of Siyaladai camp of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) under Sajek Union of Baghaichari Upazila in Rangamati district when they were going for shower to nearby stream. However, hearing the screaming of victims, villagers came forward to them but BGB soldiers fled to the camp.

It is known that, on that day at around 12.30 pm five Tripura women of Siyaladai village went for taking bath to nearby hilly stream. After taking bath when two women (one is 23 year and another is 25 year old) among the five were returning home, two soldiers of Siyaladai BGB camp came forward and grasped them. The soldiers touched their sensitive part of the body and attempted to rape. When women started exclaiming loudly at the time of the incident, residents of the villages rushed there. Seeing the presence of the villagers, BGB personnel fled inside into the camp. Immediately villagers objected to the commander Subedar Nasir. However, Subedar Nisar did not take any step and term it as ‘minor issue’. One of the accused was identified as Rafiul, the other is unknown.

Two Tripura girls rescued from a captivity in Dhaka with the help of ASK and Police

On 5 November 2014 police rescued two Tripura girls from a house in Dhaka. According to the girls’ parents, their daughter Nindobala Tripura (17) and Anjali Tripura (16) were brought to Dhaka by Surojit Barua for providing employment. However, they were made house maids of Mr. Surojit. For their work last one and half years they were not paid any salary rather they were physically tortured by the family members of Surojit. Even the house owner did not allow them to keep contact with their parents. With all these allegations police arrested Mr. Surojit Barua during the rescue operations from his Dhanmondi residence in Dhaka.

It was reported that the two girls were brought to Dhaka in August 2013. Victim Nindobala’s sister-in-low Nayan Tripura was known to Mr. Surojit. Using this connection Mr. Barua asked Nayan to bring two girls who are looking for job. Getting this offer Nayan brought these two girls. They both are permanent residence of Dittokarbari Para of Patachara Union in Ramgarh Upazila under Khagrachari district.

After coming to Dhaka, first two months Nindabala contacted with her sister Nindolakkhi but afterwards they have stopped all kinds of communication. Their parents tried in all kinds of ways to contact them but failed. When asked about the girls, Nayan Tripura informed that the girls are fine and in a few days they will be home soon. In this way time has passed but they were unable to contact the girls. In the meanwhile, on the 23 October 2014, Nindabala Tripura made a phone to Bipin Tripura, a local resident of Patachari. In the phone call, she mentioned that Surojit Barua withheld herself and Anjali Tripura on the above address and if they are not rescued soon they will be trafficked.

Knowing the above information, their parents tried contacting with Anjali and Nindabala but it did not work. Later, with the help of members of the Tripura Kallyan Songsod they have contacted with human rights organization Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) for rescuing Nindabala and Anjali. One and half year of this cruelty ended when police raided on 5 November 2014. After being informed about the physical torture, the police rescued the girls and householder Suronjit Barua was arrested but his wife Sumita Barua (55) fled away.

Officer-in-Charge of Dhanmondi police station Abu Bakar said that, the two indigenous girls were withheld and they were physically and mentally tortured. They were not even allowed to contact their families at home. Victim Anjali Tripura’s father Mr. Purna Kumar Tripura has filed a case under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act against the householder. The case no. is 05, dated 05/11/2014, section 344/323/506 of Penal Code.

A Jumma women physically assaulted by a settler in Mahalchari

On 6 November 2014 police has arrested a person named Ibrahim Khalil (25) from Mahalchari Upazila in Khagrachari hill district on the ground of harassing a Tripura women.

It was reported that on 6 November 2014 in the morning the victim women went to Rash festival at Mahalchari from her village Ponkhimura. In the festival ground she was physically assaulted by Ibrahim Khalil, son of Ishak Ali of Khiyangghat cluster village. Immediately the culprit was caught by the crowd and handed over to the police. On the following day, police filed a case against accused Ibrahim Khalil in this connection with Mahalchari police station.


Kapaeeng Foundation
(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)

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