Bangladesh Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad, an organization of students from minority backgrounds, have protested the rape of a woman from the Hajong community in Sunamganj on August 14 and also demanded exemplary punishment of the rapist.
On Tuesday morning, the leaders and activist of Bangladesh Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad held this protest procession in front of the National Museum in the capital and also placed a five-point charter of demand.
The five points are: Appropriate compensation has to be paid to the five Garo families affected in Sreebardi upazila of Sherpur district and Range officers and beat officers, especially those involved in such heinous acts must be provide exemplary punished; ensure rights of traditional land of ethnic minorities’ people; the conspiracy of grabbing the land of ethnic minority group of Doluchhora in Moulvibazar, Garo and Khasia community have to stop immediately ; a separate land commission for the plain land’s ethnic minority communities
Organizing Secretary Badol Hajong conducted the program while its general secretary Alik Mree presided over the program.
Besides, expressing solidarity with the Parishad, Dhaka University's Sociology Department Professor Khairul Chowdhury Rupam and DU Anthropology Department associate professor Zobaida Nasrin Kona attended and also spoke at the program.
Professor Khairul Chowdhury said, ‘"The Incidents of torture and oppression against indigenous women are happening repeatedly in the country. And we are protesting only. I think it is time to form an indigenous human rights commission to solve their problems. And we also demand formation of a land commission for them."
Anthropology Department Associate Professor Zobaida Nasreen said, "Patriarchal society and culture of injustice are the main reasons behind such incidents in Bangladesh. It is not possible to tackle such crimes only through protests. To prevent this klinds of incident, everyone in society should be united and fight against rape."
Speaking on the procession Bangladesh Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad General Secretary Alik Mree said that five Adivasi families have lost crops worth several lakhs taka due to deforestation in the name of social forestry at Sreebardi upazila in Sherpur. There are more than 50 ethnic minorities’ families in fear of eviction. Not only in the case of Sherpur, but also in Sylhet, Tangail and Chittagong Hill Tracts of the country, the forest department is working to evict the ethnic minorities.
He said that the conspiracy of grabbing the lands of ethnic minority group have to stop immediately and also demanded exemplary punishment for raping a Hajong woman in Tahirpur.
Bangladesh Adibasi Juba Forum President Ananta Bikash Dhamai, General Secretary of Hajong Students' Organization Ashish Hajong and among others also spoke at the rally.