• Friday, Jul 01, 2022
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High Court to BTRC: Remove all videos of tortured Noakhali woman from social media

  • Published at 01:33 pm October 5th, 2020
High Court-HC-court
File photo shows a general view of the Bangladesh Supreme Court building Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The court also ordered the government to form a probe committee and directed the Begumganj SP to ensure the woman's safety

The High Court has ordered the government to form a three member committee to inquire into the sexual assault of a woman about a month ago in Begumganj upazila of Noakhali. The video of the incident went viral.

The High Court also ordered the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to remove the video from social media which might be nearly impossible as it cannot be ascertained as to where and how many times the video has been circulated and who have downloaded it.

According to the video and locals, five youths, Delowar, Badal, Kalam, Abdur Rahim and an unnamed youth – all members of the criminal gang Delowar Bahini -- stripped the woman naked and brutally tortured her in broad daylight.

The High Court ordered the forming of a probe committee and an investigation of the incident as to whether there was negligence on the part of local administration, including police.

Also read: Police scramble after video of Noakhali woman being stripped naked, beaten goes viral

The police reportedly came to know about the incident only after the tortured woman filed two cases under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act with Begumganj police station, 33 days after the incident.

The court’s orders

According to the order, the probe committee will be led by the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of Noakhali. The two other members of the committee are to be the principal of Chowmuhani Government SA College, and the district social welfare officer.

The deputy commissioner (DC) has to provide all logistics support to the committee and the DC office will have to submit a report to the court within 15 days.

According to the court order, the chairman of the BTRC has to remove the video from all social media websites after saving it on a CD or USB and sending it to court through the state lawyer.

The High Court's virtual bench of Justice Mujibur Rahman Miah and Justice Mohiuddin Shamim issued the voluntary (suo moto) order and rule on Monday after hearing from senior lawyers of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The court has set October 29 for the next hearing and ordered the officer in charge of Begumganj police station to submit a report about the latest revelations by October 28.

The court also directed the superintendent of Begumganj police to ensure the survivor’s safety.

The issued rule asks the government why the respondents should not be directed to take appropriate departmental and legal action against local administration for their negligence and failure to take immediate action to save an innocent woman from brutal torture in her own home.

The secretaries of Home, Public Administration, Post and Telecom, chairman of BTRC, deputy commissioner of Noakhali, the upazila nirbahi officer and OC of Begumganj,  have all been made respondents to the rule. 

The registrar general of the Supreme Court was asked to send all of the notices and orders to the respective offices and persons by October 7. 

Also Read- 4 women raped every day on average in Bangladesh amid Covid-19 pandemic

Supreme Court Bar Association President AM Aminuddin, Secretary Barrister Ruhul Kuddus Kajol, Senior Lawyer ZI Khan Panna, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, AM Jamiul Hoque Faisal, Abdullah Al Mamun and many other lawyers took part in the hearing.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Advocate AM Amin Uddin, who joined the court for another hearing, described the incident as an utmost inhuman crime and demanded the highest punishment for the culprits.

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua also urged exemplary punishment of the culprits.

Till now, four men have been arrested for stripping naked and torturing the woman in Begumganj upazila of Noakhali district. 

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Badal, the prime accused, and Delowar, chief of Delowar Bahini, from Dhaka and Narayanganj respectively, early Monday.

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