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Lama rape case: Rights groups seek arrest, punishment of culprits

  • Published at 12:55 am September 12th, 2018
Human rights activists demand fair probe into the rape of two Tripura girls in Lama, Bandarban by BGB members at a press conference in National Press Club, Dhaka yesterday Dhaka Tribune
Human rights activists demand fair probe into the rape of two Tripura girls in Lama, Bandarban by BGB members at a press conference in National Press Club, Dhaka on Tuesday Dhaka Tribune

'The accusation of rape at gun-point in the night can be considered to be very serious and inhuman. Though one of the accomplices named Janerong Tripura has been arrested, the rest of the accused are yet at large which is a matter of grave concern and can be considered violation of law'

Women and human rights organisations have demanded fair probe and prompt justice of the rape of two Tripura girls last month by members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in the Lama upazila in Bandarban.

The rights based organisations— Manusher Jonno Foundation, Ain O Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Bangladesh Adivashi Forum, Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS), Jono Udyog, Kapaeeng Foundation, Bangladesh Adibashi Nari Network— also demanded immediate arrest of the accused and exemplary punishment against them and adequate compensation and treatment including necessary security for victims and their family members.

The rights groups after taking the accounts of government officials, public representatives, police, journalists and students about the incident, placed a number of demands at a press conference held in the capital on Tuesday.  

Reading out the written statement at the press conference, Rina Roy, Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said: “A case has already been filed regarding the incident. We hope the truth would be exposed following proper investigation and necessary action taken according to the law.” 

“The accusation of rape at gun-point in the night can be considered to be very serious and inhuman. Though one of the accomplices named Janerong Tripura has been arrested, the rest of the accused are yet at large which is a matter of grave concern and can be considered violation of law,” she said. 

Quoting Lama police station Officer in-Charge Appela Raju Naha, she further said that a letter had been sent to the BGB camp seeking necessary action identifying the criminals, and association of the camp.    

“But the delay in identifying and arresting the culprits is a matter of concern. Justice delayed means justice denied and this can be considered as a violation of the incumbent government’s zero tolerance policy towards violence against women and female children, said Rina. 

Jono Udyog Convener Dr Mushtaq Hossain, BNPS Vice President and Cultural Activist Afroza Banu, Kapaeeng Foundation Executive Director Pallab Chakma, among others, spoke at the program.

Pointing that there are some influential groups, not only in the hilly region but all over the country, who attempt to save culprits when any rape incident takes place cultural activist Afroza said: “We want each rape incident across the country be investigated and culprits be brought to book.” 

“Though all evidences of the case available and victims revealed everything including the names of the wrongdoers they are still employed in government service,” she said. 

Kapaeeng Foundation Executive Director Pallab Chakma said: “When all the evidence and information are available, we demand the government to take legal action against the culprits and arrange necessary security for the victims and their family members.”   

The speakers also alleged that the government officials refrained from visiting the spot due to security issues. 

Two minor girls from the Tripura community at Fasiakhali union’s Tripura Para in the Lama Upazila of Bandarban were reportedly raped by two BGB members—Maruf and Sumon— with the help of another BGB member Rabiul, sources said. 

One of the victims has already filed a case with the local police station under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. 

In the case statement, the victims alleged that a local woman, named Junerong Tripura, took them to a nearby jungle from their Tripura Para home during late night, where two of the three BGB troopers violated them.