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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2827

BIWN demands to stop alarming violence against indigenous women and girls and punishment of perpetrators

Dhaka, 13 April, (Asiantribune.com)

Leaders of Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network (BIWN) voiced to prevent alarming violence against indigenous women and girls and also demanded for ensuring punishment of perpetrators to ensure access to justice of indigenous women.

This demand was raised by the indigenous rights activists in a human chain, formed in front of National Press club in Dhaka on 7 April 2014, by BIWN, a network of Kapaeeng Foundation. Presided over by joint convenor of the BIWN Ms. Chanchana Chakma, the human chair was attended by representatives of women rights organizations and human rights defenders. The human chain was followed by submission of memorandum to the Home Minister of People’s Republic Government of Bangladesh. Chandra Tripura, member of BIWN conducted the human chain program.

Indigenous leaders claimed that violence against indigenous women is increasing in an alarming rate. Rape, killing after raped, sexual harassment, kidnapping and suppression to indigenous women have increased in Chittagong Hill Tracts and plain lands. Hence, indigenous women are passing insecure life.

Rabindranath Soren, president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad said that whole indigenous societies are worried about violence against indigenous women and girls. Most of the time the local administration did not conduct an accurate investigation and sometimes they delayed to arrest perpetrators in connection with violence against indigenous women. He urged the government to take immediate action to prevent violence against indigenous women.

Razib Mir, Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Jagannath University said that lack of proper investigation, complex and long justice system, lack of legal aid support, insecurity of victims’ family, culture of impunity to the perpetrators etc. are the main causes of increasing violence against indigenous women and girls.

Researcher coordinator of Kapaeeng Foundation and human rights activist Bipasha Chakma said that, indigenous women are mistreated when they went their work place, school or college and even when they stayed at home. She urged the government to implement CHT Accord for ensuring security of indigenous women.

Chanchana Chakma, joint convenor of BIWN, described present horrible situation of indigenous women. She said that at least 9 indigenous women have been raped, killed after rape and attempted to rape in last three months both in CHT and plain land. She also informed in her speech that almost 54 from CHT and 13 from plain land indigenous women and children were mistreated countrywide in 2013. Finally, she also read out the memorandum which was submitted to the State Minister of the Home Ministry.

Through the memorandum, indigenous women demanded to local administration, police and local government representatives to take proper step to end the culture of impunity and to ensure security of indigenous women and punishment of perpetrators. Moreover, they also demanded establishment of separate land commission for plain land and full implementation of CHT Accord.

Architect Enamul Haque, Convenor, Desh Premik Jote; Mahbubul Haque, Director, BCHRD; Dilara Rekha, Coordinator, Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha; Jotishman Chakma, general secretary of Hill Students Council; Hill Womens Fedaration leader Monira Tripura; Ripon Chandra Banai of Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Fofrum; Kamrun Nahar from Naripokkho et al were attended the human chain and expressed their solidarity. Besides, different organizations, including Bangladesh Mohila Parishad, Nari Mukti Sangsad, Institute for Environment and Development (IED), Bangladesh Adivasi Chatra Sangram Parishad and Adivasi Nari Parishad also extended their solidarity with BIWN human chain.

Finally, a team of BIWN, comprising of five members, namely, Chanchana Chakma, Bipasha Chakma, Helena Talang and Chandra Tripura, submitted the memorandum at the Home Ministry of the Government of Bangladesh.

Incidents of violence against indigenous women and girls from 1 January to 9 April 2014:

1.On 5 January 2014 a 9-year-old Tripura girl was allegedly raped by a local Bengali settler in Manikchari upazila in Khagrachari district. A local arbitration was carried out and the perpetrator was fined Tk. 12,000 and caned in public. No case was filed.

2.On 9 January 2014 a Bengali settler allegedly attempted to rape a 13-year-old Marma girl in Lama upazila in Bandarban. Her brother filed a case at the local police station. Local Awami League leaders allegedly arranged an arbitration and fined the perpetrator Tk. 15,000 and got him released from police custody.

3.On 15 January 2014 a 13-year-old Marma girl was allegedly raped by four Bengali settlers in Naikhyongchari upazila in Bandarban district. One of them, who the girl recognized, was arrested.

4.On 16 January 2014 a military officer and a member of Bangladesh Ansar allegedly sexually abused a Buddhist monk by stripping him and robbing him of his personal belongings in Bilaichari, Rangamati. This was done to him in two more previous occasions by the same persons.

5.On 15 February 2014, an indigenous Chakma woman named Sabita Chakma (30) was murdered after gang rape by a group of Bengali settlers at Chengi chor area of Kamalchari union under Khagrachari sadar upazila in Khgagrahari district. Police did not arrest any alleged perpetrator.

6.On 18 February 2014, an indigenous Chakma woman (28) was attempted to rape allegedly by security person in Laxmichari areas of Sajek union under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. Nobody was arrested.

7.On 25 February 2014 at around 11:00 am, an indigenous Marma girl (15) was raped by two Bengali settlers at Kumar Para of Amtali union under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachari district. Nobody was arrested.

8.On 7 March 2014 a 19-year old indigenous girl was gang raped by a group of three Bengali settlers of Pichlatala union under Manikchari upazila in Khagrachari district. Police arrested three alleged perpetrators.

9.On 14 March 2014, a 13-year old indigenous Chakma girl was attempted to rape by a Bengali settler named Mohammad Aitullah at her home in Logang Machchochara under Panchari upazila in Khagrachari district.

10.On 21 March 2014 a 15-year school going indigenous Marma girl was tried to kidnap by a leader of Chatra League (Bengali settler) from Betbunia union of Kaokhali upazila under Rangamati district.

11.On 26 March 2014 a 28-year old indigenous woman named Bharati Chakma was allegedly killed after gang rape at Headman Para of Karalyachari under Kyangghta union of Mahalchari upazila in Khagrachari district.

12.On 2 April 2014 a 19-year old Rabidash woman was raped by a member of Ghurka union council named Hadis Ali at Bhuiyan Ghati Uttor Para under Salangya upazila in Sirajganj dstrict. Police arrested a criminal Md. Haider Ali in this connection.

13.On 3 April 2014 an indigenous Chakma disable with speech girl (16) was raped by two Bengali settlers in Dhungmukh village of Laxmichari union of Laxmichari upazila under Khagrachari district.

14.On 4 April 2014, a Patro indigenous woman (35) was raped by an army member at Kulauti village of Khadimpara union under Sylhet sadar upazila in Sylhet district.

15.On 5 April 2014 an indigenous Tanachanga woman was kidnapped alleged by a group of 5-6 Bengali settlers led by Dr. Hamja and Dr. Muktar from Reju Fattrajhiri village of Naikhyongchari upazila in Bandarban district.

- Asian Tribune -

BIWN demands to stop alarming violence against indigenous women and girls and punishment of perpetrators
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