Five lawmakers yesterday demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of those who beat up and raped a woman indigenous leader in Gomostapur upazila of the district on August 4.
They made the demand at a rally held on the premises of Parbatipur Union Parishad office at noon. The lawmakers, Fazle Hossain Badsha from Rajshahi, AKM Fazlul Haque from Sherpur, Nazmul Hoque Prodhan from Panchagarh, Yasin Ali from Thakurgaon and Hajera Sultana also assured the locals that they would raise the issue in the parliament, demanding punishment of the culprits.
Prof Mesbah Kamal of Dhaka University, Rabindranath Soren, president of Jatiyo Adivasi Parishad, Rina Roy, director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, Protima Rani Rajoar, vice-chairman of Nachole Upazila Parishad, and the victim herself also addressed the rally
The speakers said they would provide legal aid for the indigenous leader and give financial support for her better treatment. They urged the police administration to forward the case to the court and declared that a grand conference of plain land indigenous people would be held in Rajshahi on September 27.
At the rally, the indigenous people chanted a slogan, demanding formation of a separate land commission for plain land indigenous people.
Earlier on the day, the woman indigenous leader was released from Chapainawabganj Sadar Hospital. The five lawmakers and others received the leader and took her to the meeting venue at Parbatipur. They later went to the house of woman indigenous leader at Zinarpur village in the union and gave her Tk 10,000 for her treatment.
A gang of land grabbers beat up and raped the president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad Chapainawabganj unit at Zinarpur village under Parbatipur union of Gomostapur upazila on August 4.
The indigenous leader, also a member of Parbotipur Union Parishad, came under attack while she along with labourers was planting aman seedling on a farmland.
As the labourers fled the scene in the face of attack, three of the gang –Rezaul Karim, Akbar Ali and Akbar Hossain --took her to one side of a field and raped her. The attackers also took away her power tiller, two bullocks and a shallow pump machine.