On March 7, just a day before International Women’s Day, four women were sexually assaulted in and around the various rallies celebrating Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic 1971 speech.
This latest incident is reminiscent of the Pohela Boishakh incident of 2015, which brought to light the sickness within our society, as 30 men surrounded several women and proceeded to rip off their clothes.
Sadly, it seems that little has changed in the general mindset in the past three years.
The assault case of March 7 is a grim reminder of the tough, long road ahead -- indeed it is the saddest of days when the men of this country have yet to learn to how treat women with due respect out on the streets.
The fact that these happened at a rally celebrating the speech that rallied up an entire nation to freedom speaks to the so-called false patriots which inhabit our nation.
What makes it even worse is that, after the women had come forward, they were ridiculed and threatened.
No wonder so many rape and assault cases go unreported.
What has Bangladesh come to when sexual assault is accepted, and its victims are blamed or treated as pariahs?
During the 2015 incident, despite CCTV footage of the assault, no one was brought to book -- such laxness on part of the authorities only emboldens harassers and sexual predators.
We hope to not see a repeat of that this time around.
It is good to see that the women involved have filed cases, and we urge the police to take these matters seriously, and to punish whoever was involved.
Enough is enough -- our streets must be made safe for women.