Thursday, June 5, 2008
2008. Press conference held and Memorandum of appeal submitted to local administration for arresting the perpetrators on 18th May, 2008 (The daily Manabjamin dated 18th May, 2008)
The leaders of Adibashi Parishad of Nachole Pargana and Dighali alongwith protesters handed over a Memorandum of appeal to the Deputy Commissioner, Chapai Nowabganj on 18th May, 2008 for immediate arrest of rapist. In the evening they also hold a press conference at the auditorium of Zilla Parisahad. They alleged that a most powerful group with the collusion of police on behalf of the perpetrator trying to destroy the proofs of rape. They also alleged that the negative Medical report of rape so obtained collusively from Medical College at Chapai-Nowabganj is far from truth.
On May 1, 2008 the perpetrator- Abdus Salam (50) at village Peerpur Sahanapara allured the Adibalshi child to eat mealie and thereby misguided the victim child, raped in a shop pushing some clothes on her mouth. As a result the child became senseless and her bloody body was taken to Nachole Health Centre for admission and treatment. The victim was transferred to Chapai Nowabganj Sadar Hospital as the condition of the victim deteriorated.
Although police was informed in time, police neglected to arrest the perpetrator and he escaped.
In the memorandum of appeal it has been alleged that Md. Kowser Ali, brother of a Union Parishad member was indulging such heinous crime and he gave shelter of the perpetrator. Perpetrators, not only busy with offering bribe to local administration, but also trying to suppress the material facts with corrupted means. In the press conference Adibashi leaders– Benzamin Hamda, Bhagabat Tuvo, Nicholas Murmu were present.
HRCBM representative talked with M.H. Nuruzzaman – Superintendent of Police, Chapai-Nowabganj (Mobile No. 088-01713373813). He confirmed that although the case is true but the medical report of the Medical Board found negative and he can not interfere the medical board with regard genuineness of the incident of rape. He did not want to talk more and disconnected his telephone line.
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