Court summons BLAST’s female worker over statement on ‘harassment’ at BGB checkpoint

Our Correspondent . Cox’s Bazar | Published: 23:56, Nov 22,2020


A Cox’s Bazar court on Sunday summoned a female worker of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust to appear before it by January 14, 2021 in a defamation complaint filed against her against her by a Border Guard Bangladesh official.

Senior judicial magistrate Helal Uddin asked the legal aid worker to appear before the court with her explanation.

The court passed the order after receiving a police report submitted by Teknaf police station in the case, said border guard’s lawyer Sajjadul Karim.

Border guard’s Nayek Subedar Md Ali Molla field the case demanding Tk 100 crore in compensation for ‘damaging the force’s image as her by alleging that she was sexually assaulted during a stop and search at a checkpoint in Cox’s Bazar on October 8.

The lawyer said that the news outlets regretted the reports they printed.

The border guards in a notification said on Sunday that the police report found no evidence of sexual harassment alleged by the NGO worker.

The case has already triggered criticism by different eminent citizens. 

In a joint statement, 18 eminent citizens, including academics, lawyers and rights activists, on Saturday condemned the filing of the defamation case against the legal aid worker, and demanded a neutral, proper and independent investigation into the incident.

On November 10, senior judicial magistrate Tamanna Farah asked the Teknaf police officer-in-charge to report her in seven working days about the incident after recording the statements of 11 witnesses on the incident took place at Damdamia checkpoint at about 10:30am on October 8.

BLAST in its statement on October 13 stated that it received an allegation that one of its female workers had been sexually abused at a BGB checkpoint in Teknaf on October 8.

Human Rights Forum Bangladesh, a coalition of 20 human rights and development organisations, on Thursday in a statement expressed their concern over the filing of the case against the NGO worker instead of carrying out an inquiry into the allegation of sexual harassment.

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