How many more girls will have to die at the hands of stalkers? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:40 AM, September 27, 2020

Editorial

How many more girls will have to die at the hands of stalkers?

Bring the murderer of Nila Roy to justice

We are shocked and outraged at the gruesome murder of Nila Roy, a 10th-grader of a local school in Savar, by her stalker Mizan on September 20. According to Nila's family, she was on her way to the hospital with her elder brother to have her respiratory problem examined when they were stopped by Mizan. Mizan threatened to kill her brother and asked him to leave and forcefully took Nila to an abandoned house owned by his father where he stabbed her to death.

Reportedly, Mizan, the prime accused in this case, has been a member of the infamous "Shakil and Sakib" gang in the area. Shakil and Sakib are the sons of a local influential Awami League leader who used their father's influence and power to cover up their crimes. According to the locals of the area, members of this gang often used to stalk and assault girls and are also notorious for extorting people and businesses as well as being involved in the drug trade. Although the gang committed many of these crimes in broad daylight, people in the area did not dare to protest fearing repercussions. They also alleged that the abandoned house where Nila was stabbed in is a crime hub where Mizan and other criminals used to gather regularly.

As Ain o Salish Kendra reported, from January till August this year, a total of 152 women were sexually harassed by their stalkers and of them 10 committed suicide and three attempted to commit suicide. Two of them were murdered by the stalkers because they protested. Nila is yet another girl who was murdered because she did not give in to her stalker's demand.

In 2011, the High Court ordered the government to set up separate cells at every police station across the country to deal with cases of stalking. Have those cells been formed as yet? The regular incidents of sexual harassment by stalkers across the country gives us a signal that those directives by the court were hardly heeded by the concerned authorities.

It is good to know that Savar police have arrested Mizan, the prime accused of the case. We now hope that the members of the "Shakil and Sakib" gang, who allegedly abetted Mizan in committing the murder, will also be apprehended. Mizan, along with his associates, must be punished according to the law of the land. We demand justice for Nila.

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