I’m scared of returning home
A Bogura court yesterday sent three people, including a high schoolteacher, to jail in a case filed in connection with torturing a teenage baul and shaving his head in Bogura's Shibganj upazila.
Some locals did this to the16-year-old for "singing baul songs and lighting candles in his house" in Jurimajhpara village.
The accused are Mezbaul Islam, 52, English teacher of a local high school, Shafiul Islam Khokon, 55, and Tarek Rahman, 20, of the same village.
Meanwhile, the victim has taken shelter to a relative's house in another village after police arrested the three.
He told The Daily Star yesterday, "I fear to return my village as the accused are very influential persons and they are arbitrators of my village. They repeatedly threatened me and told me to give up my baul songs before."
On Tuesday night, the teen lodged the case against the three arrestees and Fazlu Mia, 40, Abu Taher, 45, and two other unknowns.
Police then arrested Mezbaul, Shafiul, and Tarek.
Sub-inspector Bellal Hossain, investigation officer of the case, said rejecting their bail prayers, the court sent the three to jail.
According to the case statement, the teen stopped his study due to poverty when he was a sixth grader and started learning and singing baul songs in different places with some bauls of his area. During his baul incarnation, he started wearing white dresses, including lungi and fatua, and grew long hair.
The accused became angry and threatened the teen. Besides, the accused also insulted other bauls who used to visit his house often. One day, the teen protested it.
On the night of September 18, five to seven people went to his house, woke him up and dragged him out of his house and shaved his head. They also threatened him with expulsion from the village, the teen said in the case statement.
He told this correspondent, "When I was screaming, they started beating me up. Later, locals came and saved me."
He said in fear, he took shelter in another village that night.
The teen alleged that the attackers told him that "by wearing white dresses (dhuti) and lighting candles, you are becoming a Hindu and you have to be a Muslim again by reciting Kalema."
Contacted, Sirajul Islam, officer-in-charge of Shibganj Police Station, said in primary interrogation, the three accused told them that the teen wears white dresses, lights candles and incenses which is against the Islam. Therefore, they wanted to give him a lesson.
Asked about the teen's fears, Tanvir Hasan, assistant superintendent of police (Shibganj circle), said they were taking steps.