The lives and livelihoods of sex workers in Madaripur cathouse have become endangered following an attack led by the Islamist Group Islahe Qawmi Parishad in association with the locals.
The August 26 attack on the brothel rendered at least 500 sex workers shelterless, besides bringing them untold sufferings.
Even, the infirmaries in the district refuse them essential treatments being subjected to wrath of the attackers who have warned the hospital authorities not to give any healthcare to the sex workers, according to banglanews24.
Seeking anonymity, a sex worker said she had sustained severe head injuries after being hit by lethal weapons during the attack.
“I did not get any treatment for the injury from hospitals or anywhere else,” she said.
The sex worker added that the assault left at least 30-40 of her fellows critically injured.
Some of them have had their ears and noses cut when attackers whisked their ornaments away.
Another injured sex worker, on condition of anonymity, said, “When we went to the Madaripur Sadar Hospital, the authorities turned us out.”
“I have been starving over the past four days. The attackers looted five tolas of gold ornaments and money from me,” she said.
Dr Lelin was in charge of the hospital’s emergency ward when the attack took place on August 26, said a source.
He said, “No new patient was admitted to the emergency ward on the day of the attack. I was on duty from morning to 2pm.”
The attack on sex workers was a clear violation of a High Court order.
On August 26, the HC had extended its stay for one year which allowed them to reside in the brothel.
An investigation into the attack found that the local administration had filed cases against unidentified persons.
A case was filed against 2,500 people for obstructing police from performing their duty.
Besides, the administration showed arrest of 17 people although none of them was involved in the assault.
Moreover, Monir Hujur and Badal Hujur – activists of the Islamist group – have been reportedly roaming around in broad daylight.
Mahmuda Akhter – district Women Affairs Officer – was tasked with investigation into the incident, but she had allegedly joined hands with the attackers.
Mahmuda said, “I am with the majority. No one wants a brothel in the city centre.”
Many parents complained that their children allegedly took drugs in the whorehouse, she said, adding that most objections went against the sex workers.
Asked about the officer talking in favour of the attackers, Nur-e-Rahman, deputy commissioner, said: “I have not heard that the officer is supporting the attackers; but I will look into the matter.”
A government officer cannot stand beside the offenders, he added.