Hill Voice, 8 September 2020, Khagrachari: Though the allegation that a Jumma schoolgirl was gang-raped by four Bengali settler youths in Mahalchhari of Khagrachhari district was widely publicized, finally a case has been filed alleging attempt to rape.
The victim’s father himself filed a case with Mahalchhari police station on 7 September 2020, seven days after the incident. Mahalchhari Police Station Case No. 2, dated 07-09-2020, Section 9(4) of (b) 10/30 under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2003.
Al Amin (28), son of Alim Uddin of Natun Para and 3 other unidentified persons have been named as defendants in the case.
According to a local resident, who did not want to be named, the local Awami League leadership abused its power to protect the rapists from appropriate punishment and influenced the victim’s family and police to register the gang-rape incident as an attempt to rape in the case finally.
It may be mentioned that on 2 September 2020, a report was published in the online media ‘Hill Voice’ alleging that a Marma girl (14), an eighth grade student, was gang-raped by four Bengali settler youths almost all night long in Mahalchhari.
According to the report, Ratan Kumar Shil, President of the Mahalchhari Union Awami League and chairman of the union council, held arbitration and tried to settle the incident by managing to pay Tk 10,000 to the victim’s family. News of the incident then went viral on social media and was published in various national dailies across the country. Various organizations also protested the incident and demanded the arrest and punishment of the culprits.
But even after six days, no case was filed on behalf of the affected family and no action was taken by the administration. Even the accused did not comment on the allegations.
Finally, after much delay, seven days after the incident, the father of the victim filed a case. Presumably, an influential quarter has tried to have a profound effect on the affected family in filing lawsuits.
A person named Thuinyo Marma wrote on his Facebook status, ‘When the victim’s family went to Mahalchhari police station to file a case, the associates of Upazila Awami League president and UP Chairman Ratan Kumar Shil numbering at least 50 to 60 surrounded the police stations for the purpose of attack.’
He further wrote, ‘The girl has been gang-raped. But by influencing politically an attempt to rape case has been filed.’
It is learnt from the ejahar that when the victim reached the rubber plantation at around 7.05 pm, Al Amin and three other persons, who were already lying there, tried to forcefully take the victims to a lonely place. At one point in the scuffle, the victim was bruised in the left side of the waist and in the elbow of the left hand, and the left side of the forehead was swollen.
The injured victim became unconscious at one stage. Later that day, at around 3:00 pm, the victim regained consciousness and found herself in front of Uhlapur Buddhist temple in Tilapara.
Needless to say, despite the incident was described as an attempt to rape in the case, but incidents of helplessness of the schoolgirl at the hands of four rapists, being stuck for several hours and fainting, etc., reveal the truth of the rape or gang rape of the schoolgirl.