The incident took place in front of the Narayanganj Central Shahid Minar in Chashara, Narayanganj, on Friday afternoon
Police came down on a group of peaceful protesters who have been raising their voice against the unprecedented rise of rape and violence against women in recent days across the country.
The incident took place in front of the Narayanganj Central Shahid Minar in Chashara, Narayanganj, on Friday afternoon.
College student Farhana Manik Muna, one of the protesters present during the incident, said: “My classmates and I, along with a number of other participants, took our places in front of the Chashara Shahid Minar on Friday morning to continue with our protest against the rapid rise of rape and violence in the country for the fifth consecutive day.
“Meanwhile, police personnel from the Sadar police station arrived on the scene and ordered us to move away from our demonstration.”
“But we respectfully declined, saying as this was a public space it was well within our rights to observe a peaceful demonstration here as citizens of a democratic country.”
“Although the police initially allowed us to continue for some time, a few hours later, Sadar police station OC Md Asaduzzaman arrived on the scene with police personnel and forced us off the Shahid Minar premises.”
Contacted, Md Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sadar police station, said: “The Narayanganj district unit of Bangladesh Workers Party had reserved the place for a party program on Friday afternoon with prior permission taken from the city corporation office.”
As the protesters did not have such permission, they were occupying the space illegally and had to move, he added.
When contacted, Hafizur Rahman, president of Narayanganj district unit of BangladeshWorkers Party, said: “We had planned to hold a program at the Shaheed Minar on Friday afternoon regarding the closure of sugar mills and the rise of rape and violence across the country. Accordingly, the City Corporation and Sadar police were notified beforehand.
“But another organization was already observing an anti-rape sit-in since Friday morning. When they were asked to vacate the premises for the duration of our program, they declined. So, when we notified the police, they came and removed them.”
Students from schools and colleges as well as various socio-cultural organizations, including Udichi Shilpigosthi, have been staging demonstrations and sit-ins in Narayanganj to protest against rape, and violence against women across the country.
These programs continued for the fifth consecutive day at Narayanganj Press Club, Chashara Chattar and various other places in the city on Friday.
Student protests in Dhaka and elsewhere erupted after a video emerged of several men stripping and assaulting a woman from a disadvantaged community in the southern district of Noakhali.
Even before the video footage emerged, tension had been brewing since several members of the ruling party’s student wing were arrested last week and charged with gang-raping a woman in northern Sylhet.
Following the Noakhali incident, rapes and violence against women have continued rising in an unprecedented rate, forcing civil citizens across the nation to protest on the streets.