Rights groups fail to visit spot for ‘insecurity’

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:38, Sep 11,2018 | Updated: 23:44, Sep 11,2018


A team of eight rights organisations had to return to Dhaka from Lama in Bandarban on September 5 without visiting a village where two Tripura girls were raped reportedly by border guards on August 22 as the local administration warned them of security concern.
The rights organisations — Manusher Jonno Foundation, Ain o Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bangladesh Adibasi Forum, Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha, Janaudyog, Kapaeeng Foundation and Bangladesh Adibasi Nari Network — said this a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity in Dhaka.
In the written speech, Manusher Jonno Foundation director Rina Roy said that they went to Lama and talked to Lama Upazila Parishad chairman, upazila nirbahi officer, police station officer-in-charge and four ethnic minority Tripura community leaders.
She said that when they were preparing to go to the area to meet the victims, their families and villagers, the upazila nirbahi officer called them over mobile phone to join her for tea and told them that it might not be safe for them to visit the village.
Rina said that they came back from Lama considering the overall situation.
Upazila nirbahi officer Nur-e-Jannat Rumi told New Age that she neither called nor invited them. ‘They came to me and went away after talking to intelligence agency members.’
She said that she informed the team that there was security concern as there were attacks on two places of the upazila in the morning on September 4 and requested them to go when the situation improved. ‘None of them has, however, contacted me so far.’
Rina told the press conference that though one of the girls lodged a case a day after the incident, only a Tripura woman was arrested for assisting the rapists but the main accused, border guards, were yet to be arrested.
She said that the officer-n-charge informed the team that the police sent a letter to the Border Guard Bangladesh to identify the accused and take necessary steps and that the accused would be arrested after identification.
‘Question arises among the people as the accused are not identified or arrested,’ she said, demanding proper investigation into the incident, immediate arrest of the accused, justice for the victims and adequate compensation, treatment and security for them.
Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha vice-president Afroza Banu, Janaudyog convener Mushtaq Hossain and Kapaeeng Foundation executive director Pallab Chakma also spoke.
Two Tripura girls were raped allegedly by two border guards while another border guard was in their guard at a village in Lama at night on August 22, according to police.

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