Human chain and statement against rape of an indigenous woman in Lama

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Hill Voice, 27 February 2023, Special Correspondent: A human chain was held at the Lama Upazila administration premises to protest against the rape of an indigenous Marma woman in Fansiakhali Union of Lama Upazila under Bandarban district and to demand exemplary punishment by arresting the alleged rapist. On the other hand, the Hill Women’s Federation (HWF), central committee also strongly condemned and protested the incident and demanded the arrest of the rapist and strict punishment.

Human Chain

Today, February 27, 2023, at 11 am, a human chain was organized at the Lama Upazila Council administration premises under the initiative of ‘Lama Upazila Conscious Student Society’.

The discussion meeting of the human chain was chaired by Mongseting Marma and moderated by Mongenu Marma. Hlasingkai Marma and the victim’s younger brother Mongkyahla Marma spoke among others at the meeting.

Hlasingkai Marma said, in Lama upazila, heinous acts like rape are being carried out on hill women. In his speech, he demanded that the rapist, Md. Kaiser, be quickly arrested and brought under the law and punished.

Monkyahla Marma, the younger brother of the victim said, in Hargaja area of Fansiakhali Union of Lama Upazila, on 24/2/2023 AD, when my sister was looking for vegetables in the acacia tree plantation near the village, at approximately 1.30 pm, Md. Kaiser came from behind and forcibly beat my sister tying up her both hands with towels and raped. This is a very heinous crime and despicable.

He strongly demanded that Md. Kaiser, son of Md. Abdullah of Fute Jhiri (Ula Jhiri) village of No.2 Ward of Fansiakhali Union, should be brought under the Women and Child Abuse Act and given appropriate punishment through justice for this heinous crime against his sister.

In the president’s speech, Mongseting Marma said that a person with human values cannot speak in favor of this rape incident. He also said that the brother-in-law of the rapist Md. Kaiser threatened to file a counter-case against the victim’s family for what the victim had sued the rapist for.

Before this human chain, a protest march was taken out from Lama Matamuhuri College Gate and ended at Lama Upazila Administration premises.

Statement by HWF

A press statement was issued by Hill Women’s Federation (HWF), Central Committee, strongly condemning and protesting the incident of rape and demanding swift arrest of the rapist and severe punishment.

A press statement signed and sent by Hill Women’s Federation Information and Publicity Secretary Mimi Marma announced the condemnation, protest and demand for punishment.

It is mentioned in the statement that last Friday around 12 noon, when the victim went to pick vegetables in the land next to the house, the rapist Md. Kaisar, who was lurking, grabbed her face and took her inside the nearby forest and forcibly raped her. Although a case has been filed in the police station regarding the heinous incident, the police have not yet arrested the rapist. It was alleged that the local UP chairman helped the criminal Md Kaiser to escape without giving a fair trial to the incident. The local UP chairman on behalf of the rapist to cover up the incident is putting pressure on the victim’s family to settle in exchange of money and threatening to file a case against the victim’s family.

In the statement, Hill Women’s Federation made the following three demands:

(1) The rapist Md. Kaiser should be arrested and punished strictly.

(2) A ‘speedy trial tribunal’ should be constituted to ensure justice in cases of violence against women occurred in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

(3) Proper implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord should be done by announcing the roadmap quickly.

It is to be noted that last 24 February 2023, around noon on Friday, the woman (24) went to collect vegetables in the field next to the house. At that time, Md. Kaiser, who was there, grabbed the woman’s face and forcibly took her to the nearby forest and raped her. The house of the victim woman is said to be in Hargaja Lathui Marma Para of No.2 Ward of Fansiakhali Union.

It has been reported that the name of the alleged rapist is Md. Kaiser (36), son of Abdullah, Village-Hargaja Futer Jhiri Area, Fansiakhali Union.

It is reported that the seriously injured woman was admitted to Lama Health Complex for treatment on February 25, 2023 at noon. After that the victim woman was shifted to One Stop Crisis Center of Bandarban Sadar Hospital.

On the other hand, it is also known that immediately after the incident, the people of the area arrested the rapist Md. Kaiser red-handed and beat him up. But it is said that the chairman of the area sent the rapist Md. Kaiser to a private hospital in Chakria, Cox’s Bazar in the name of treatment.

It was reported that the rapist Md. Kaiser escaped from the hospital yesterday.