Probe sexual assault during Baishakh celebration: HC

The High Court today directed the authorities concerned to investigate the incidents of sexual assault on women on the Dhaka University campus Tuesday evening during the Pahela Baishakh celebration.

The inspector general of police and the vice-chancellor of DU have been ordered to conduct the probe into the incidents and to submit separate reports before the HC by May 17.

Issuing a suo moto (of its own) rule, the court asked them to mention in the reports what steps have been taken against the culprits who are responsible for assaulting the women, Deputy Attorney General Tapash Kumar Biswas told The Daily Star.

In the rule, the HC asked the government authorities concerned of the government and DU to explain in four weeks as to why they should not be directed to take appropriate legal steps against the perpetrators.

Home secretary, IGP, VC of DU, commissioner of Dhaka metropolitan police, deputy commissioner of police of Ramna division and officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station have been made respondents to the rule.

The HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman also fixed May 17 for passing further order on this issue, DAG Tapash said.

The bench came up with the order and rule following the reports published by four national dailies--The Daily Star, Prothom Alo, Jugantor and Amader Shomoy yesterday over the incidents.      

The Daily Star reports that the joyous celebration of the Bangalee's biggest festival -- Pahela Baishakh -- was tainted by incidents of sexual assault on women on the DU campus, sparking widespread public outrage.

Witnesses said some 30 to 40 rowdy youths assaulted and sexually harassed around 20 women for about one hour at the Suhrawardy Udyan gate near the TSC area around 6:00pm.

They alleged although law enforcers were stationed only 20 yards from the spot, they did nothing to rescue the women or arrest those who launched the sexual assault.

The incident, which happened close to writer Avijit's murder scene, ignited fury on social networking sites. Several organisations condemned the assault and demanded immediate arrest of the attackers, according to The Daily Star report


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