Jumma school girl rape case convicted head teacher reinstated in service

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Hill Voice, 22 July 2023, Rangamati: Md. Abdur Rahim (46), headmaster of RS High School in Atarakchara Union of Longadu Upazila under Rangamati district, has recently received bail for three months from the court despite being convicted of raping a female student of the same school. Not only that, it has been alleged that he is currently serving as the headmaster of the school being reinstated in violation of the rules of the government law.

It is known that Md. Abdur Rahim (46), head teacher of Karalyachari RS High School in No.1 Atarkachra Union of Longadu Upazila, was accused of raping a Jumma schoolgirl (16) of his school in the month of October 2020. Last year on November 29, 2022, Abdur Rahim was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Rangamati Women and Child Torture Prevention Tribunal. The court also ordered a fine of Tk 10 lakh, in default of payment three years rigorous imprisonment.

According to the documents of the case, on September 25, 2020, around 10 am, the victim student went out in search of the goat of thier house. After much searching, on her way back home, she met the headmaster of the school, Md Abdur Rahim, near Karalyachhari RS High School. The headmaster called the victim to the school asking her to take the lemon. When the victim approached, the headmaster grabbed the girl’s hand and forcibly took her to the school hostel and forcibly raped her. At that time, the victim student screamed save, save, but her screams did not reach anyone as the hostel door and window were closed. After the rape, the headmaster told her not to tell anyone about the incident and threatened to kill her if she did. The victim along with her parents appealed to the UP Chairman. A rape case was filed with Longadu Police Station on October 5 by the family of the schoolgirl as they did not get a suitable solution from the chairman’s office.

In this case, on November 29, 2022, Judge AEM Ismail Hossain of the Rangamati Women and Children Torture Prevention Tribunal sentenced the head teacher Md. Abdur Rahim to life imprisonment and a fine of Tk 10 lakh.

Recently the convicted accused, Md. Abdur Rahim, took an interim three-month bail from the High Court on the condition that the victim be given one acre of land within two months. In the bail order, the court said, considering the facts and circumstances of the case and in view of the undertaking filed by the lawyers concerned, we grant interim bail to Abdur Rahim for a period of three months. Bail condition, appellant Abdur Rahim shall submit a progress report as described above (by handing over land) before expiry of bail. No application for extension of bail shall be entertained if the appellant-accused fails to submit the above progress report.

It should be noted that according to section (1) of the Public Service Act, any public servant convicted by the court of death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year in a criminal case shall be immediately dismissed from service from the date of the judgment or order imposing the penalty.

But surprisingly, in spite of such a provision, the convicted accused Md. Abdur Rahim continues to perform the duties of the head teacher from 23 June 2023.

Talking to the local people, it is known that Ziaur Rahman, president of the managing committee of Karalyachari RS High School, despite knowing everything and despite the opposition of the local people, for what purpose appointed a convicted accused as the head teacher of the school, they do not understand.

They also said that the president of the managing committee has violated the law, he and the concerned department cannot avoid the responsibility. The local residents strongly demanded that the convicted accused Md. Abdur Rahim be released from the job.