Sexual harrassment of women during Pahela Boisakh celebrations in Dhaka; Chhatra League men sexually harrass women at Jagannath University

Youth harring women in Pahela Baisakh

Several women, who joined the Bengali New Year celebrations on Tuesday, have been sexually harassed by a group of miscreants at Dhaka University’s TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan gate areas.

Witnesses said a group of at least 30 unruly youths swooped on a number of women and assaulted them in the TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan gate areas on Tuesday evening while a string of festivities was being held, celebrating the first day of the Bengali year, Pahela Baishakh.

Bangladesh Students’ Union’s DU chapter President Liton Nandi, who received severe injuries while trying to rescue a woman, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I saw the miscreants assaulting a women. She fell down on the ground but the youths were trying to take off her cloths in public.”

“I came forward to rescue her. They started beating me when I tried to save her. I also fell down and broke my right arm.”

“Later, I saved the woman’s honour by covering her with my Panjabi and took treatment at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital,” added Liton.

He blamed the police for the brutal assault on women on the campus.

Questioning the role of police in preventing such incidents, he said: “The on-duty police members did not act during the assault on women. They visited the spot almost one hour later when all the stalkers left the place smoothly.”

Denying the allegations,  Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam said: “The on-duty police charged batons on the youths. But, they failed to stop them harassing the women sexually in public.”

“We are trying to identify the miscreants by checking the CCTV footage and legal action will be taken once they are identified.”

While contacted, DU acting proctor Prof Amzad Ali also blamed police’s irresponsibility for the shameful attack on women.

He said: “Such incidents should not have happened on the campus if police take immediate step.”

Following the incidents, Students’ Union, Pragatishil Chhatra Jote and other leftist student organisations have condemned it and announced several protest programme, demanding arrest of the culprits.

Protesting the sexual attacks on women, they also called a press conference on the campus on Wednesday afternoon.