Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday in parliament said the government will ensure the highest punishment to culprits, if necessary by enacting tougher laws, to prevent sexual harassment in the country.
“There’ll be no mercy for those who will be involved in [incidents of] sexual harassment. If necessary, we must enact tougher laws and ensure that maximum punishment is given to those who commit sexual harassment,” she said, referring to the brutal killing of madrasa student Nusrat Jahan.
Hasina made the remarks while participating in a discussion on a resolution urging the parliaments, governments and citizens of all countries to forge resistance against terror and sexual harassment incidents.
Mentioning that the militancy and terrorism was not only a problem in Bangladesh but in the whole world, the PM said her government will do whatever necessary to combat these issues.
Treasury Bench lawmaker Tofail Ahmed placed the proposal in the House, which was passed by voice votes after the nearly four-hour long discussion.
In the resolution, Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad expressed its deep abhorrence and anger at the huge casualties, including the death of Zayan Chowdhury, a grandson of AL leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, in the terror attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, and at the sexual harassment and murder of Nusrat in Feni.
In her speech, Hasina urged the people to instantly inform intelligence agencies if they know of any suspicious activities related to militancy.
Terming Nusrat a brave girl, the PM said the student didn’t bow her head down to injustice and didn’t agree to withdraw the sexual harassment case filed against the principal of her madrasa.
“After the incident, efforts were made to label Nusrat as ‘someone with weak character’. But she was burned to death for showing courage,” said Hasina
“Some leaders of our party were involved with this principal. I instantly told the police that I don’t want to see who belongs to which party and that criminals are criminals. They [the leaders] were arrested immediately. Such incidents can never be accepted,” she said.
Hasina firmly said the government must take action against those involved in such incidents, irrespective of their political affiliations or views.
Awami League lawmakers Amir Hossain Amu, Meher Afroze, Opposition Chief Whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga, and Workers’ Party President Rashed Khan Menon , among others, participated in the discussion.