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Protests continue over DU student rape

  • Published at 10:37 pm January 11th, 2020
DU Protest
Photo shows protesters at a road march under the banner of Students' Community against Rape and Sexual Violence in Dhaka on Saturday, January 11, 2020 Collected

On January 5, a second year student of the university was raped in Kurmitola

Students and teachers of public and private universities have continued their protest demanding justice over the rape of a Dhaka University student. 

Around a hundred protesters under the banner of Students' Community against Rape and Sexual Violence marched from the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University to Kurmitola in the capital on Saturday afternoon calling for rapists to be given the highest punishment and for the country to be made safe for women. 

On January 5, a second year student of the university was raped in the Kurmitola area after she mistakenly got off a bus there around 7pm on her way to a friend's house at Joar Sahara, also known as Shewra.

Prior to the march, the protesters held a rally at the base of Anti-Terrorism Raju Memorial Sculpture on the campus demanding a fulfillment of their four-point demands.

The demands include completing trials in rape incidents within 90 days under a speedy trial tribunal, heightening security and bringing the area between Kurmitola bus stand and the airport under CCTV (closed-circuit television) surveillance, clamping down on all illicit businesses, including drug dealings in the area, and bringing the whole of Dhaka city under CCTV surveillance alongside ensuring security for women.

Speaking at the rally, Shiblee Hasan, convener of the platform, said:"Although the nation is celebrating the birth centenary of the country's founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman this year, and structural developments have been speeded up over the years, society is still lagging behind in establishing equity and social justice."

"We have organized the march in order to raise awareness against such barbaric incidents and to establish a safe country for women," he furthered. 

Shiblee also demanded that the accused be handed exemplary punishment so that no one could dare to think of committing such acts against women in the future.

At the rally, DU History Department Prof Mesbah Kamal said:"Rape is rampant in the country, but rapists manage to ensure impunity for themselves by using loopholes in the law; and the existing law is also not being executed properly." 

He noted that there was a link between rape and capitalism as the latter does not permit women to become human beings, but rather turns them into commodities.

"So the fight against capitalism should also continue," he added.

Meanwhile, Naripokkho, a women's activist organization, also organized a program in the capital protesting against the growing incidents of sexual harassment and rape across the country on Saturday afternoon.

The January 5 rape incident caused shockwaves and triggered massive protests by students and humanitarian organizations across the country.

On January 8, the Rapid Action Battalion arrested the suspect, Md Mojnu, 30, in the capital's Shewra rail crossing area.

The next day, a Dhaka court placed Mojnu on a seven-day remand under the Detective Branch of Police.

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