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Sunday, March 25, 2012

An 11-year old Marma girl raped by Bengali settlers in Manikchari

An 11-year old Marma girl raped by Bengali settlers in Manikchari

On 23 March 2012, a 11-year old Jumma girl from Bholakhola village of Tintahari union under Manikchari upazila was reportedly raped by two Bengali settler youths at Gorjon Akashi Bagan area under Manikchari upazila in Khagrachari district.

It is learnt that, on that day, the victim, who is a class/grade- five student of a BRAC-run school, went to Chowmuhoni Bazaar in Kanchanpur under Fatikchari upazila, Chittagong adjacent to Manikchari; to sell coal. When the victim reached Gorjon Akashi Bagan on her way back home alone, Md. Saddam son of Serajul Islam from Kanchanpur and his friend Md. Anis grabbed her, took her to a roadside jungle and then raped her.

The children who were accompanied the victim informed guardians of the victim and then father of victim Thoi Aungyo Marma along with villagers rushed there and recovered victim from Gorjon Akashi Bagan area in senseless condition. The victim was first taken to Manikchari hospital. 

As the perpetrators were from Fatikchari upazila under Chittagong district, so the victim was again taken to Fatikchari police station on 24 March. A case was filed with Fatikchari police station under Women and Child Repression Prevention Act in connection with the incident. The victim was supposed to be sent to Chittagong for medical test. It is reported that police arrested a rapist named Md. Saddam.

It is worth mentioning that recently violence against indigenous Jumma women by Bengali settlers in CHT has increased. From January 2007 to February 2012, at least 51 incidents of violence against indigenous women in CHT were reported. In these incidents, 66 indigenous women were victimized. Of them, 6 Jumma women were reportedly killed after rape in addition to 31 women were raped. Besides, 24 Jumma women were attempted to rape and 5 women were abducted.

At present, the biggest concern in rape and other violence against indigenous Jumma women in CHT, is the lack of access to justice and absolute impunity that perpetrators enjoy. In rape cases, the victim ends up going through further harassment from the side of the administration and law enforcers -- there have been instances where doctors at hospitals have refused to give indigenous women physical check ups or delayed the physical check ups so that the evidence disappears; there have been complaints about police delaying/refusing to take the case and many have been too afraid to file a case in fear. These and many other administration-led intimidation and harassment ultimately results in the perpetrator getting away with his crime.
Kapaeeng Foundation
(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)

Following are the rape cases of indigenous Jumma women,  reported  in last few months:

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