Dipu Moni, Mithila join protest wearing teep

Men and women flood social media with photos in protest against the assault of the college teacher

Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has protested the assault of a female college teacher by a police constable for wearing a teep.

The minister uploaded some pictures wearing teep (bindi) to her verified Facebook account on Monday, with a caption saying: "I am a human, a Muslim, a Bengali, a woman."

Soumitra Shekhar, vice chancellor of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, also shared his concerns in the comment section of the post.

He wrote: “Protests must continue this way. Our language should be more sharpened in protesting such incidents, more people must come forward and let this be the hope of the Bengalis who have been liberated after the Liberation War.”

Actor Rafiath Rashid Mithila also protested the incident. Sharing a photo from her film “Maya” on her Facebook, she wrote: “There should be no talks regarding my teep, my freedom.”

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The campaign has become viral among Bangladeshis at home and abroad since the matter of the Tejgaon College lecturer being assaulted on a Dhaka street made headlines on Sunday.

The same day, reserved seat MP and renowned actor Suborna Mostafa raised the matter in Parliament. She demanded action against the accused policeman so that such incidents would not repeat.

“Where in the constitution of Bangladesh or in which law does it say that a woman cannot wear a tip? It does not matter if she is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Budhist, single, married, or a widow, she has the right to wear one if she wants,” she said.

On Monday afternoon, Nazmul Tarek, a constable of the police’s Protection Division, was suspended. The authorities also formed a two-member committee to investigate the complaint filed by Dr Lata Samaddar.

Earlier in the day, police said that they had identified the accused by scrunitising CCTV footage.

During primary interrogation, Nazmul said that he had no idea about the massive criticisms over the abuse of the college teacher as he does not watch television and uses a button-phone.

Also Read - Harassment for wearing teep: Accused constable suspended

The incident sparked protests throughout the country demanding that the police member be brought to justice.

Several organizations demonstrated for punishment of the accused and asked the government to take stern action over incidents of harassment and violence against women. They also sought government intervention over the trend of moral policing on women on cyberspace as well as on the streets.

What happened on that day?

In her complaint filed with the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station on Saturday, Dr Lata Samaddar, a lecturer of the Theatre and Media Studies Department at Tejgaon College, said that the incident took place in front of Shezan Point shopping mall in the Farmgate area.

"A policeman in uniform was sitting there on a parked motorbike. When I was passing by, he started harassing me, seeing a teep on my forehead and hurling abuse at me.

“As I protested, he started the bike and tried to run me over. I tried to move away but got injured severely by falling," said Lata, who is the wife of Dhaka University Teacher Professor Malay Bala.

She also mentioned the motorcycle’s registration number in the complaint.

After the incident, she went to three on-duty traffic policemen, who advised her to file the complaint.