Indigenous woman raped in Bandarban

Sun Feb 26, 2023 12:00 AM Last update on: Sun Feb 26, 2023 04:36 AM

A woman from the Marma community in Bandarban’s Lama upazila was raped by a man on Friday afternoon, said a police complaint.

Her family members said they could not file the case with police until 9:30pm yesterday as they were kept waiting for hours.

The duty officer at Lama Police Station, Hafizur Rahman, had told The Daily Star that the case would be filed once Officer-in-Charge Shahidul Islam arrived.

“We have recorded the case and will send the woman for a medical test to Bandarban General Hospital tomorrow morning,” the OC said when contacted around 10:30pm yesterday.

“Police are trying to arrest the accused, a Bangalee man,” he added.

However, Shahidul hung up when the correspondent asked him about the delay in recording the case.

One Md Kaisar, 36, of Hargaja Futer Jiri area, abducted the woman when she was plucking vegetables from a land next to her home, according to the case statement.

This incident, which occurred around 1:00pm on Friday in Fasiakhali union, came to light when the 24-year-old woman, was taken to Lama Upazila Health Complex Hospital yesterday morning for treatment.

Protasha Mallick, the hospital’s duty doctor, confirmed the admission of the woman.

According to witnesses, Kaiser was beaten by the villagers as he was caught trying to flee the scene.

When they were going to hand him over to the police, Josna Akhtar, a union parishad member, arrived at the scene and took Kaiser to the office of Fasiakhali union chairman.

Chairman Noor Hossain Chowdhury sent injured Kaiser to a hospital and sent the villagers home assuring them of arbitration when the alleged rapist recovered, locals added.

Noor said, “I was informed by the female member that it was a minor incident. The Mogh (indigenous) people beat up Kaiser in such a way that he could not even speak. So, I sent him to a hospital. We will settle the matter after he is released from the hospital.”

When asked if he had the right to judge a rape case, the chairman said, “I asked the woman in public whether Kaiser raped her. She admitted in front of everyone that she was not raped.”

Female member Josna Akhtar told The Daily Star she took Kaiser into her custody and requested the chairman to settle the matter.

When asked why she took Kaiser into her custody instead of handing him over to the police, Josna said, “I took Kaiser into my custody as the woman said she was not raped.” Josna said she saw injury marks on the woman’s face.

Meanwhile, the woman told The Daily Star that Kaiser indeed raped her. “I felt ashamed when I was asked in front of everyone. So, I told them I was not raped,” she said.

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