A member of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) who was stabbed by some miscreants over putting up anti-drug posters, died at Chittagong Medical College Hospital on Friday.
The deceased was identified as Ashikur Rahman Rohit, 20, BCL activist of MES College.
Officer-in-Charge of Bakolia Police Station Nezam Uddin said some miscreants attacked Rohit on January 8 in Dewan Bazar of Bakolia in Chattogram city, leaving him severely injured.
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He was admitted to the CMCH where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday morning, OC said.
Victim’s brother Jahidur Rahman filed a case accusing three people over the matter.
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Jahidur Rahman said the arguments emerged after some miscreants tried to tear apart some anti-drug posters which Rohit had earlier put up on the walls on January 5.
They had also threatened Rohid after the dispute and later plan-fully attacked him on January 8 afternoon, Rahman alleged.
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Meanwhile, local BCL men demonstrated and blocked the Gulzar intersection of Chawkbazar at 11 am seeking arrest of the attackers.
The High Court on Thursday issued a rule asking why recording biometric data – fingerprints and iris scans – should not be made mandatory for birth registrations.
The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing a writ filed by human rights activist Arifur Rahman Murad Bhuiyan.
Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy stood for the state while Arifur placed arguments on his petition.
The registrar general of birth and death registration, local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry secretary, public safety secretary of the home ministry and inspector general of police were asked to respond to the rule in four weeks.
Arifur Rahman filed the writ on March 12 last year so that dead bodies of unidentified people, criminals, and missing persons could be identified through fingerprints and iris scans.
A writ petition was filed with the High Court on Thursday seeking an exclusive compartment for female passengers in the trains.
Advocate Md Azmal Hossain moved the writ petition filed by Advocate Mamtaz Parvin on January 13.
Passenger trains should preserve a separate compartment for women, Azmal said.
“According to Section 64 of the Railways Act 1890, at least a carriage has to be exclusively reserved for women in every passenger train and there is provision for penalty if anyone enters that room without permission,” the lawyer said.
On October 13, 2020, Azmal had sent a legal notice to the railway ministry seeking actions within 30 days over arranging a separate compartment for women in trains.
“The writ has been filed as no measures were taken in this connection,” Azmal said.
A writ petition was filed with the High Court on Thursday seeking amendment in the law to include sexual violence against men as a criminal offence.
The petition asked for amending Section 375 of Bangladesh Penal Code by including the word “person” instead of “woman.”
Human rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Tasmia Nuhaya Ahmed, and Dr Masum Billah, director of Empowerment through Law of the Common People, and social worker Dr Showmen Bhowmik filed the writ.
Secretaries of the law ministry, home ministry and the inspector general of police were made respondents to the writ.
In many countries, sexual violence against men is not adequately addressed in legislation. Also, male rape is frequently not treated as an equal offence with the rape of women, says the World Health Organization (WHO).
Under Section 375 of the Penal Code, only sexual violence perpetrated by men against women is considered as rape, the writ petition said.
Tapas Kanti Baul, the lawyer for the writ petitioners, said, “There has been a big jump in the number of sexual assault against men and boys recently. But justice is being denied as such crimes are not being considered as rape.”
The evidence available suggests that males are maybe even less likely than female victims to report an assault to the authorities, says the WHO.
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“There are a variety of reasons why male rape is underreported, including shame, guilt and fear of not being believed or of being denounced for what has occurred.”
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) on Thursday urged the government to reform rape laws, enact witness protection laws, and complete investigations and trial in a timely manner.
MJF also recommended amending the relevant law to allow persons with language and hearing and intellectual disabilities testify in rape cases.
It also urged effective capacity-building of police, judges, lawyers, doctors, court staff and all stakeholders involved in the trial of rape cases. MJF also demanded identifying any errors in the medical report as punishable offence.
The suggestions came at a virtual press conference to highlight the current status of 25 rape cases followed up by MJF's partner NGOs and to find out the reasons for the delay in handling the rape cases.
Of 25 rape cases filed in the country from 2012 to 2016, 25 accused have been granted bail within 15 days after their arrest. At present, 20 accused rapists are out on bail, three are in jail and two are roaming around under the umbrella of influential people, avoiding arrests.
In addition, most of the accused have been released on bail and are trying to influence the cases in various ways. Most of these 25 rape cases are under trial and hearing stage. Charge sheets have been filed in 22 cases in the six months after they had been filed.
However, nine such cases filed during 2014-15 are yet to get verdicts. Twelve cases filed in 2016-2017 also didn’t get verdicts yet and there has been no progress in two cases. Charge sheets are yet to be filed in three cases.
Out of these 25 cases, two cases are inactive. Documents of four cases are not available. Of the 20 charge sheets, dates of hearing have been given some 8-23 times. Medico-legal test of one case has not been done yet.
It was found that the hearing of these cases has been postponed due to non-appearance of most of the witnesses. Parents are frustrated and do not want to go to court. Poor parents are reluctant to sue for financial hardship.
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Upon inquiry into why the rape case was delayed, it was found that the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children Act clearly states that work must be completed within 180 days from the date of receipt of documents for trial and once the hearing has begun, it will have to be conducted every working day. Despite continuous management guidelines, it is not being followed properly.
Due to the delay in the investigation, the investigation report is not being submitted within the time limit of 90 days. Besides, the public prosecutor did not take any initiative to produce the victim and the witness in the court on the date of the case.
It was also found that that children and women who have been raped are being blamed in various ways. Defendants’ attorneys deliberately mistreated the victims.
Although abusive methods such as medico-legal and evidence-based two-finger tests have been banned by the high court, the process is still ongoing in remote areas. Among rape victims, three children are persons with disabilities.
Four children are aged between 5 to 10 years, five children aged 11 to 15 years and 16 adolescents and women aged 18 to 35 years. Two disabled women gave birth to two children. But fathers of these two children have not yet been identified. Although the state is supposed to bear the responsibility of the child born as a result of rape, it is not being implemented.
MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam observed that unless the justice system is not fully strengthened and people’s attitude towards women and girls are transformed positively, the menace of rape and subsequent trial process will continue to remain unhelpful to rape victims.