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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Night long rape of mum and child in Kaligonj

Translated by Basu Bose, HRCBM

Translation of the news in ‘Daily Janata’ May 7th, 2008
Daughter strangled to death

Filed by Kaligonj reporter: The terrorists (*1) took turns through the night of May 1st and raped mum and child, in South Bhadarthi village, in Kaligonj thana. The child victim Bituni (14) is the daughter of Mr James De Silva and, was a straight ‘A’ student in Grade 8 at Saint Mary Girls School. She was gang raped throughout the night by these men and then they forced poison down her mouth, and held her mouth shut. After Bituni showed no sign of consciousness, the criminals thought she was dead, and ran away. Sima De Silva, Bituni’s mum, sought help from some local people to move the girl to a hospital, Bituni made good progress after receiving treatment at the hospital. Within a short time period, however, the rapists who had been tracking Bituni’s whereabouts arrived at the hospital and got into the recovery room of Bituni. They surrounded Bituni and strangled her. For a few days, James De Silva and family found it very difficult to file any legal charges- they were terrified due to ongoing threats, intimidation and harassment coming from these terrorists. (*1) Five days passed after this bone-chilling incident before Mr De Silva went to the local police station to file a case against the armed gang of rapists. Following details of the incident emerged according to Kaligonj thana case # 4 dated May 5th, 2008. In Tumulia union’s South Bhadarthi village in Kaligonj thana: Around 10.30 pm the culprits broke into Mr James De Silva’s house. Mehedi (22), Dulal (23), Russell (20), and three other men pointed guns at Mr De Silva’s wife Sima and raped her for two hours after when they detained her inside the bathroom. They then proceeded to rape Sima’s daughter Bituni, and, took their turns throughout the night. At the end of the ordeal, they poured some poison into Bituni’s mouth before fleeing the scene. According to some local residents of the village, Mehedi is son of Mr Abdul Aziz. Mehedi had been harassing Bituni daily on her way to the school. She had resisted these unwelcome advances – this was why Mehedi used arms (to break in to the house) to rape Bituni and her mum, and, to suffocate Bituni to her death. After having survived this unprecedented terror, and once the night was gone, the mum arranged to move Bituni in an almost unconscious state in to a local hospital. Bituni gradually recovered in the hospital after receiving treatment. Meanwhile, Mehedi and some of his friends had been watching Bituni’s whereabouts and later followed her to the hospital. They somehow, conned Bituni’s mum, and sent her out of the hospital to fetch some medicine for her daughter. When Mrs De Silva came back with the medicine, she found Bituni was held on Mehdi’s lap while she was failing in her struggle to breathe. As soon as they had noticed her being back in Bituni’s hospital room, they made their exit in a hurry. Mrs De Silva soon realised that during her absence from the hospital, Mehedi was working on the ways to throttle Bituni. In a desperate rush Bituni was soon removed to the Fortune hospital in Dhaka where the attending doctors declared her dead. Bituni’s body was buried on the same day she died in the cemetery of Tumulia church, without first documenting a report of ‘Death under suspicious circumstances.’ The gang raped mum, Sima, said: these men raped me at gunpoint first before taking their turns to rape my daughter and, then they tried to kill her by throwing poison down her throat. In the hospital soon after Bituni had recovered, they came and strangled her. Bituni’s dad, James, said: the murderers of my daughter are ‘terrorists’ of the most frightening kind- I want them tried. Had I been home on the day of the incident, I would have done every thing possible to protect the dignity of my wife and my daughter – even if I were killed by them. I don’t know why Lord has still kept me alive? Just come and see how I am barely passing my days. Mr Khandarkar Mohammed Manjir Rahman, the investigating officer & the officer in charge of the police station, said that he is trying to arrest the culprits.

Note (*1): Santrasis or terrorists in Bengali are local gangs (normally from the majority community in Bangladesh) who can be armed & routinely terrorise the helpless minorities with looting, vandalism, assaults, rape, mu

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