Human chain held demanding punishment of rapist Abdur Rahim

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Hill Voice, 28 August 2023, Rangamati: Today, on 28 August 2023, at 11 am, a human chain was held at the Rangamati DC office gate premises demanding removal of Abdur Rahim the rapist, from the post of headmaster of Karalyachari Rashid Sarkar (R.S) High School permanently and upholding his life sentence penalized to life imprisonment for being accused of rape of a school girl of his own school.

General students, guardians and parents, and personalities of civil society spoke in the human chain that was moderated by Amarjyoti Chakma.

Dipan Chakma, in the chair of the event said, ‘How does the rapist take part in the class activities with bail from the High Court just dodging his sentence? I would like to ask for, how does a convict have permission to enter into the class room? Neither can a rapist be a friend to a society, nor can get any well-being to a country. He must be identified as rapist.’ He demanded the punishment awarded to the rapist to be reinstated immediately and to bring the persons to book backing the rapist directly or indirectly.

In the event, Kalyan Priya Chakma said in his welcome speech that ‘A rapist is the disgrace to a society and a nation. There is no shelter for a rapist in a society.’ He demanded to expulse the teacher forever and uphold the award of life sentence.

Arik Chakma, a guardian representative said in his speech that once the institution had name and fame. It was hoped that the students would do a lot and gain fame for the country. He demanded that the punishment be upheld immediately to maintain the respect and favourable environment of this school. From the very beginning of the establishment of the school, no such example of blemish was found. Now what about the fame, the school had in the past. We, the parents helped to form the school managing committee hoping that a learning friendly atmosphere would sustain in the school. We did not form the school managing committee to take side or indulge of a rapist. He demanded to immediately uphold the verdict for the sake of honour and favourable environment of the school.

Nirupa Dewan, a former member of the National Human Rights Commission, said in her solidarity speech, ‘I have been a teacher for 35 years in my life. I think the rapist committed a heinous crime and tarnished our entire teaching community. Here not only students but also every parents, everyone regardless of caste-race need to build resistance against rapists.

She further said, ‘serving so many years as teacher, being respected by many more parents and students, if we hear at this moment that he is not only a teacher but also the head teacher, and it was supposed to upgrade the standard and create a conducive learning environment of the school under his leadership, instead raping her own school girl, he caused the shameful incident, perhaps nowhere it happens. Paying respect to the independent judiciary I would like to ask, we don’t know after awarding punishment how did the rapist gets married or received bail in three months just giving fine? After such a heinous incident how does the managing committee stand beside the rapist? He has no moral right to stay there and to enter into school.’

She said, ‘We have obligations to encourage the students to go to school and expose them to the world educating them. But instead, heinous incidents like rape are happening there. Such rapist must be identified and resisted. She demanded that the punishment of the rapist be reinstated.’

Jiko Chakma, on behalf of the general student, said, ‘How did a convict rejoin his job? He tarnished the society of teachers. Where the teacher is an educator, he is a rapist. He demanded that the rapist be punished and those who helped him be brought under the law. He commented that if he gets away with the rape incident, he will commit more such incidents in the future.’

He added that, ‘Until the demands are met, the movement will continue along with the class suspension.’

On September 25, 2020, Abdur Rahim, the headmaster of Karalyachhari Rashid Sarkar High School of Atarakchara Union of Longadu Upazila, forcibly raped a seventh grade girl student in the classroom. 5 days after the incident, the victim’s family filed a case on 5 October 2020. At one stage, the rapist Abdur Rahim was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Tk 1.0 million on November 29, 2022, as the incident of rape was proved. But on 1 June 2023, the High Court released the rapist Abdur Rahim on bail for three months on the condition of giving 1.0 acre of land to the rape victim.