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|Volume 11 |Issue 49| December 14, 2012 ||
A REAL VIOLATION
I was going to Dhanmondi from Jatrabari with my father the other day and we were looking for a CNG to take us there. We asked several CNG drivers but they were all charging Tk 450 or more. We refused to go at such a high price but at one point we were tired of looking and booked a CNG charging Tk 350. Once we were on our way, the CNG driver requested that if the police stop us we should lie and say we were being charged by the metre. When we asked why, he started telling us how they have to pay a high amount to their employers and that they can't keep much for themselves etc. This upset me a great deal because we, the customers not only have to pay exorbitant amounts to them we are also expected to lie to the very people who are protecting our rights or we cannot travel on CNGs. I think this is ridiculous.
I was people-watching at Dhanmondi Lake during my morning walk when I noticed something that I really wish I hadn't seen. A young couple, the girl in a hijab and her boyfriend I suppose, were getting intimate behind a tree. They must have thought the tree was concealing them but they were very visible from where I was standing. I wasn't the only one who saw, a group of men, comprising of rickshaw pullers, jhal muri seller, peanut seller and street bums from the look of them, were watching from a distance. The sight digusted me to say the least. I can understand that certain things are taboo in our society and youngsters may not easily find a private place to spend time with their partners, but making a spectacle of themselves in public is in no way acceptable.
Recently I was on my way home from a late night programme with my wife and daughter when I was stopped at a police check-post. It was obvious from our attire that we were at an event but despite that they began to question us about why we were out so late at night. At one point they asked all of us to step out of the car and when we did they began to search it. Then one of the officers started speaking to my daughter, asking her if she had consumed alcohol. My daughter, who is only 15 years old was frightened by this and did not speak. I protested and asked them why they were asking inappropriate questions to a child when it is obvious that she is with her parents, to which they replied they had no proof that we were infact her parents. I was outraged by this but my wife asked me not to react. They let us go soon after this, but the humiliation is still fresh in my mind and I never want to feel so helpless again.
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