Oikya Nap President Pankaj Bhattacharya yesterday said people in the country will wage a tough movement soon if the government fails to stop incidents of repression and rape.
“People are still silent over irregularities during the 11th parliamentary election but the way repression is escalating, none will remain silent anymore,” Pankaj said at a press conference on “Condemnation and protest against rapes in different parts of the country”.
Research and Development Collective (RDC) organised the conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity.
Pankaj said the prime minister can set a good example by declaring that no activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and Awami League will be involved in rapes and those found guilty will face exemplary punishment.
He alleged that the National Human Rights Commission has played a biased role by denying correlation between the Subarnachar [Noakhali] rape incident and the December 30 polls, even though the victim herself had stated that she was raped by ruling party men due to her refusal to cast vote for “boat”.
He urged the government to form a “National Taskforce” to ensure justice for rape victims.
“If war criminals can be hanged by a special tribunal, why not rapists?” he questioned.
Reading out a keynote paper, Asadullah Sarker, senior research fellow of RDC, said, “Perpetrators belonging to the ruling party, long legal procedures, and financial limitations of victims' families are the prime causes behind justice not being served.”
“Among the cases that see trial, only three percent of the victims receive justice,” he said, referring to ActionAid data published on January 17 this year.
He urged the government to ensure exemplary punishment for rapists and generate awareness among public officials.
Nazmul Haque Pradhan, president of a faction of JSD, said that a social movement is needed to stop rapes.
He urged the prime minister not to shelter any rapist.