Demand for fair, impartial investigation and justice in unnatural death of indigenous child Preeti Urang

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Hill Voice, 14 May 2024, Special Correspondent: In an unnatural death of an indigenous child Priti Urang at a house in Mohammadpur in Dhaka, a tea plantation worker’s daugther in Mouluvibazar, the Conscious Civil Society has demanded a fair, impartial and transparent investigation and justice to it.

The demand is made in a written statement organizing a conference at Mouluvibazar Press Club by Farha Tanjim Titil, an associate professor of Islamic University, on Tuesday (14 May 2024) afternoon, after a on-site visit by conscious civil society.

In a written statement, Farha Tanjim Titil said, “the unnatural death of this indigenous child took place at Syed Ashfaqul Haque’s house in Mohammadpur in Dhaka on February 6 this year. A delegate consists of 12 members of conscious civil society, we have been on a field-investigation to the Mirtinga and Murichara tea plantation of Mouluvibazar on May 13 and today (May 14), and spoke to other children labourers Khushi Urang and Durgamani Bauri, working as domestic workers at Ashfaqul Haque’s house. We spoke to the parents of the killed child labourer Preeti Urang and other families of the children. Meeting the Superintendent of Police of Mouluvibazar, Additional District Commissioner and Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Kamalganj, we reported our observations to them. Today’s press conference has been organized to inform the countrymen about the issues. You all are welcome to the press conference.”

She also said that two children fell or jumped from Mohammadpur flat of Syed Ashfaqul Haque in a span of six months. The two similar occurrences in succession concern us.
1. Talking to Preeti’s parents, we feel that they are in need and fear.
2. Even before death, menstrual cycle has not been developed in Preeti. So, it is sure that she was not 15 years. Overage is mentioned in the statement.
3. According to Durgamani statement, they were regularly subjected to physical abuse.

In her speech she made the following demands:
1. To provide wages, medical facilities and educational expenses to the affected children.
2. To ensure justice through a fair, impartial and expeditious investigation into the incidents happened to Preeti and other children.
3. To provide appropriate financial compensation to the Preeti family and ensure safety to Durgamani family.

4. We strongly demand that the child labor policy be made a law. In terms of employing the children, we demand to the government to make the age-limit of children 18 years instead of 14 years. Along with this, in the policy of protection and welfare of the domestic workers, we demand to the government to make the age-limit of children 18 years instead of 14 years in the case of domestic employment.

5. Forming a monitoring cell with the Ministry of Labor, District Commissioner and Upazila Nirbahi Officer across the country to protect the rights of domestic workers in accordance with the court directives in 2017, we strongly demand its effect immediately. At the same time, to ensure the rights of domestic workers protection, every house must be inspected.

ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda, ALRD director Rafiq Ahmed Siraji, Islami University Associate Professor Farha Tanjim Titil, Bangladesh Workers Party Central Leader and President of Domestic Labor Rights Establishment Network Comrade Abul Hossain, Professor of Dhaka University Ishani Chakraborty, Dhaka University Professor Zobaida Nasreen, Member of Mouluvibazar District Secretary of Bangladesh Workers Party, Editor of RP News and prominent columnist Comrade Syed Amiruzzaman; Translator and researcher Muhammad Habib, the Daily Bangladeshi journalist Bahni Farhana, Researcher of DRIK Samia Rahman Prima, Program Manager of Kapaeeng Foundation Ujjal Azim, Mouluvibazar District Secretary of Bangladesh Workers Party Comrade Tapos, Bangladesh Adivasi Chatra Sangam Parishad President Alik Mree, Bangladesh Adivasi Juba Forum President Harendranath Singh, Bangladesh Workers Party District Committee Member Comrade Dewan Masukur Rahman, BSD leader Advocate Hasan were present among others on behalf of the conscious civil society.

ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda, Islami University Associate Professor Farha Tanjim Titil, Bangladesh Workers Party Central Leader and Domestic Labor Rights Establishment Network President Comrade Abul Hossain, Dhaka University Professor Zobaida Nasreen and member Mouluvibazar district secretary council of Bangladesh Workers party Comrade Syed Amiruzzaman answered various questions of journalists.