Revealing the identity of a victim of rape or sexual harassment is a punishable offence. But Sayeed Tariqul Hasan, superintendent of police in Rangamati, seemed to pay no heed to this at all.
A photo of two Marma girls, who were raped and sexually assaulted allegedly by members of security forces in Orachhari village in Rangamati’s Belaichhori upazila on January 22, was published on his Facebook account, 'SP Rangamati.'
The said photo was uploaded on Friday at 12:32pm, with names of the two girls and their parents.
Also Read - Two Marma sisters allegedly raped and sexually assaulted in Rangamati
A caption accompanying the photo reads: “Rangamati Deputy Commissioner Manzarul Mannan and Superintendent of Police (SP) Sayeed Tariqul Hasan visited them at 9am today [Friday]. They exchanged greetings during their visit.” The caption was, however, a bit blurry.
As the act caused huge outcry among netizens, the photo was removed within five hours of being uploaded.
Asked, SP Tariqul said: “The Facebook account titled 'SP Rangamati' is mine. But, I do not have much time to operate it. An officer with the rank of sub-inspector runs it.”
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Rangamati SP Sayeed Tariqul Hasan Bangla Tribune
Asked whether it is morally correct to publish photos of victims of sexual harassment, the SP said: “It's not that they [two girls] were victims. It is yet to be proven whether they were victims of rape or not. Medical tests have been done on them. What actually happened to them can be known only when the report is out.”
The police officer, however, remained silent when asked what would become of the girls if the evidence of rape is found.
Also Read - Two Belaichari rape victims handed over to parents
Meanwhile, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) called on the district’s deputy commissioner to properly investigate the alleged sexual assault on the girls and submit the report by February 26.
NHRC member Banchita Chakma visited the victims at Rangamati Sadar Hospital, according to a press release issues on Friday.
The release also said the commission is closely observing the issue and will hold a meeting today to decide on its course of action in this regard.
Parts of this article were first published on banglatribune.com