• Friday, Nov 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:07 am

Purnima Shil hopes for MP seat

  • Published at 01:30 am January 19th, 2019
Contenders of reserved seats for women in the 11th parliament waiting to buy nomination forms on january 15, 2019 Mehedi Hasan

Purnima collected a nomination form from the Awami League chief’s party office in Dhanmondi on Tuesday

Purnima Rani Shil, survivor of gang rape that took place during the spate of post-election violence following the 2001 elections, is expecting to become a lawmaker from the reserved seats for women in the 11th parliament.

Purnima collected a nomination form from the Awami League chief’s party office in Dhanmondi on Tuesday.

In October 2001, when a wave of violence hit after the eighth general elections, in which BNP and its alliance won, many supporters of the then opposition Awami League and members of minority Hindu community who suffered various forms of atrocities.

On October 8, a week after the elections were held, a group of men attacked the house of Anil Kumar Shil in Ullapara, Sirajganj, took his daughter Purnima, then 13 years old, out of the house and gang-raped her in a nearby place.

After a decade of fighting, in 2011 she received a judgment where 11 men were awarded life sentences.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina provided her with financial support to continue her education, and after completing education, Purnima became a music tutor in Dhaka.

Purnima came into limelight after she spoke to BBC in 2016 about the harassment she had been facing because of a fake Facebook ID that someone had opened in her name and displayed pornographic images and content. 

Later in January last year, then state minister for information Tarana Halim appointed Purnima as her personal officer. Her job was terminated in December as Tarana’s tenure ended with the 10th parliament.

Purnima is currently a member at Agriculture and Cooperative Sub-Committee of the ruling party.

When contacted on Friday, Purnima told the Dhaka Tribune: “I have come this far in my journey of life facing oppression and harassment.I will not hide my identity; rather I will try to work hard to bring criminals to justice.”

When asked what her main focus would be if she received the nomination, Purnima said: “I will try to raise issues relating to violence against women and children in parliament, so such incidents do not take place in future.”

The schedule for the election to the reserved seats for women will be announced on February 17, the Election Commission has said.