Hill Voice, 2 September 2020, Khagrachari: Day before Yesterday, a Marma girl (14), an eighth grade student, was allegedly gang-raped by four Bengali settler youths in Mahalchhari of Khagrachhari district.
It has been learned that after that, in an arbitration organized under the leadership and mediation of a union president of the local Awami League, the heinous incident was settled by giving only Tk 10,000 to the victim’s family. In addition, the arbitration leaders gave strict instructions not to inform anyone about the incident and not to file a case in this regard. As a result, the incident was almost covered up.
It is learned that the victim girl is an 8th grade student of Mahalchhari Adarsha High School. Her own home is in the nearby village of Maischari. At present he is staying in Thalipara village inhabited by Marmas due to his studies.
According to local sources, at around 5:00 pm on August 31, 2020, 4 settler youths led by Al Amin (24), a resident of Tilapara in Mahalchhari Sadar Union of Mahalchhari Upazila, found the girl alone and forcibly picked her up on a motorcycle. They then took her to a secret place near the Mahendra vehicle station near Tilapara and gang-raped her overnight and left her there. Later, on September 1, 2020, at around 3:00 pm, the girl somehow took shelter in the house of one of her teachers in Tilapara.
When the incident came to light, on September 1, 2020, arbitration was organized at the house of Kalachan Chowdhury, the headman of Thalipara village, under the leadership of Ratan Kumar Sheel, leader of the local settlers and president of the Mahalchhari Union Committee of the Awami League. In the arbitration, Ratan Kumar Sheel completed the trial by fining the rapists 10,000 taka on behalf of them to pay the victim and directed not to file any case in this regard and not to inform anyone.
It is worth mentioning that Ratanshil Kumar is known to have been one of the perpetrators of the 2003 Mahalchhari communal attack and an influential figure among the settlers.
It is learned that the girl sustained injuries during the rape. During the trial, she showed signs of injury in front of everyone.