Madaripur sex workers fear eviction
Around 500 sex workers (prostitutes) in Puranbazar area of Madaripur town have been spending days and nights in fear of being evicted and tortured as Islahe Qoum (religious organistion) has announced a plan to drive them off.
Many sex workers have started fleeing their homes and hubs – some of which they own and rent out to business – after Islahe Qoum president Alhaj Maulana Sharif Mujibul Haque announced their plan yesterday afternoon at a meeting held on the premises of the Puran Bazar Baro Masjid (mosque).
The sex workers said they had been apprehending attacks and forcible evictions from the red light area and as such, in the meantime, they have also obtained a court order to the effect that no one will force them from their homes and sex business, said Mamata Rani Karmaker, a leader of the Madaripur sex workers.
She said a sex workers' organization, “Bandhabi Nari Sangha”, has sent applications to the higher authorities including a minister, Madaripur district commissioner and police superintendent as well as the media requesting protection from likely attacks, arson, looting and vandalising of the red light blocks in Puranbazar.
“We have asked for protection of our lives and human rights,” said Mamata, also the president of Bandhabi Nari Sangha.
She and others said a vested group has been trying to grab the valuable land in the red light district by evicting the rightful owners – the sex workers.
Refuting the allegation, Moulana Sharif Mujibul Haque said they do not intend to evict the sex workers but want to relocate them legally and peacefully.”
“For this, we have set up a committee with the additional district commissioner as its convenor to discuss with the sex workers for their rehabilitation,” said Haque, president of Madaripur Islahe Qoum Parishad and the peer of Shamadar Dargah Sharif.
Madaripur Police Superintendant Khandaker Faridul Islam said police will be deployed to prevent any attempt to evict the sex workers from Puranbazar area.