HC ruling on harassment of women at DU; investigation of BCL involvement in sexual harassment at JnU and JU demanded

chatraleague dhaka

The High Court has issued a ruling upon the authorities concerned asking why punitive measures should not be taken against those, who have sexually harassed a number of women in TSC area on Tuesday.

When thousands of people were celebrating the Pohela Boishakh, gangs of unruly youths swooped on around five to seven women and sexually harassed them at Suhrawardy Udyan and some parts of Dhaka University campus.

An HC bench of Justice Kazi Rezaul Haque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman issued the suo-moto rule for four weeks on Thursday afternoon, following reports published on several national dailies.

Secretary for home, inspector general of police, DMP commissioner, Ramna Zone DC, Shahbagh police station OC and Dhaka University vice-chancellor have been made the defendants of the ruling.

The court also asked the IGP and DU VC to submit a probe report with it on May 17.

The assaults took place within less than two months after three-four women were sexually harassed in public near the entrance of Suhrawardy Udyan at TSC intersection during the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.

The Dhaka Tribune published two photos of the youths harassing a girl on February 21 but they could not be identified and brought to the book until now.

After series of protests and outrage in social media since Tuesday, police now say following CCTV footages, they have noticed one incident near the TSC roundabout.

Even though the police acknowledged one incident, witnesses and student leaders alleged that at least seven women came under attacks near TSC and Matsya Bhaban areas on Tuesday afternoon.

The attackers were honking vuvuzelas during the assaults to suppress the victims’ screams, witnesses said adding that they also filmed the incidents with inhuman enthusiasm.

It is mentionable that Chhatra League men have been involved in similar sexual harassment attacks in front of Jahangirnagar University and Jagannath University during the celebration of Pahela Boisakh festivities. Students and teachers have condemned the attacks and demanded exemplary punishment for the attackers.

A complaint has been filed against Chhatra League men in this regard at Jahangirnagar University. JU Chhatra League suspended the accused students from the organisation and demanded their exemplary punishment.

No complaint has however been filed in the Jagannath University case, even though Jagannath University’s acting Proctor Nur Mohammad said the authorities would take measures if they received complaints regarding the sexual harassment of female students by Chhatra League men on Pohela Boisakh led by JnU unit’s Organising Secretary ‘Suranjan’, a shocking incident which had been widely covered by the media, and of which, journalists had taken pictures.

Female students have repeatedly said that they fear for their safety.

Source: Dhaka Tribune and Progress Bangladesh