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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
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2001 Post-polls Violence

Over 200 minority women raped

Probe finds links of several top BNP-Jamaat leaders

Over 200 minority women were gang raped allegedly by the then ruling BNP-Jamaat alliance cadres in 15 months since October 2001, finds the judicial commission probing the 2001 post-polls violence.

The barbarous act was intended to force them to leave the country. They were, in the eyes of the culprits, enemies as they voted for Awami League, said commission sources.

The commission has also found involvement of some BNP and Jamaat leaders in the oppression on minorities and Awami League workers.

Of the BNP leaders, the commission named Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, Abdul Wadud of Khagrachhari, Joynal Abedin, also known as VP Joynal of Feni, Nadim Mostafa, HM Selim of Bagerhat, Maulana Shakhawat Hossain of Keshabpur in Jessore, Abdus Sobhan of Pabna while the Jamaat leaders are Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami and Abu Taher of Comilla.

On Sunday, some other commission sources told The Daily Star that Delwar Hossain Sayedee, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, Hafiz Ibrahim and Zahir Uddin Swapan were among the leaders of the then government who led the oppression.

Talking about some incidents in Bhola, commission sources said Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and his men picked up one of their rivals and shot him dead.

In another incident, Hafiz and his men tore off clothes of another rival and forced him walk around a local market.

Family members of the deceased and witnesses of the killing incidents gave depositions to the commission. Some people also appeared before the commission with witnesses of the atrocity and brutality they faced.

Hafiz, however, refuted the allegations and challenged the commission.

"People know my family well. I was voted a lawmaker six times while my father three times," he said.

Khagrachhari BNP leader Abdul Wadud said the inclusion of his name among the ones involved is politically motivated.

He added "I made lots of contributions to mosques and temples of Hindus and other tribal communities in my area, which testify to the fact that I did not oppress them."

VP Joynal and Nadim Mostafa, however, could not be reached over the phone for their statements.

A high official of the home ministry said the commission identified most of the rape victims on the basis of newspaper reports of that time.

Many victims and their family members across the country contacted the commission when it was conducting the probe.

Rapists in 22 incidents of the 200 grabbed the victims' residences, he added.

Fearing social stigma, majority of the victims had not done any forensic test following the incidents.

"Many victims described their horrific experiences before the commission but denied lodging complaints against the rapists."

The victims think putting their names on record as rape victims will worsen their life in society, said the official.

The probe commission found that most of the gang rapes occurred on the country's southern part -- Bhola, Barisal, Agoiljhara and Gaurnadi.

The accused were acquitted for lack of witnesses. In some cases, police gave final reports while the names of the accused were dropped in over 500 cases out of the 3,625 major crime incidents.

As for the cases running at present, it was found that police were compelled to drop the names of the perpetrators as they have good connection with ruling AL men.

The commission recommended that the government should form district committees comprised of a magistrate, public prosecutor and some others of the district authorities to carry out further investigation into the incidents.

It, however, apprehended that it would be tough or, to some extent, impossible to continue the probe into the rape allegations, as the victims themselves are unwilling to do the legal battle.

In case of arson attacks, investigators will hardly get any evidence. The victims of the attacks over the last few years built new structures in place of the damaged ones.

The judicial commission has made a report of the 2001 post-polls violence mentioning over 3,625 incidents of major crimes including killing, rape, arson and looting by cadres of the then ruling BNP-Jamaat alliance.

Of the incidents, the commission described 355 as politically motivated murders while 3,270 were incidents of rape, arson, looting and other atrocities.

Member secretary of the commission Monwar Hossain, deputy secretary of the home ministry, handed over the report to Home Minister Sahara Khatun on Sunday.

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Raping is a inhumane and a severe offense. So, rapist are not allowed to take the political shelter. First, they cherish their bad desire by forcing the simple minority women but they will not dare to rape even the majority women to cherish their lust. So, only a drastic and exemplary punishment to the accused may protect the mother.

: Anupam

The rapping is one of the heinous act in our society. The rapist must be taken to the broadday light for rigorous punishment so that it never happen in our motherland. If we respect our mother, we should prevent such kind of heinous activity from society.

: kanta


  • Talat Islam
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 09:43 AM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    This barbaric incident is a dark incident in Bangladesh history. The culprits must be severely punished so that no such incident is ever repeated in Bangladesh ever again.

    The nature of this barbaric act is similar to ethnic cleansing that was done against the Muslims in Bosnia and the criminals should be punished as not as rapist but people committing genocide and ethnic cleansing.

  • Badal Podder
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 10:40 AM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    All culprits who are directly and indirectly involved in such barbarous act should be given punishment in a befitting manner so that it never repeat in country. If it is done we will not able to prove ourselves that we are civilised and every civil society to should give the proper witness to nab such heinous dog, the enemy of human being.

  • M
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 01:52 AM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    Have you ever thought how grave is politically motivated rape? AL-BNP is acting like the barbaric Pakistani Army in ethnic cleansing or Indian Army in Kashmir.

  • A minority Bangladeshi
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:19 PM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    I am happy that at least a judicial commission is probing the incident. I think nothing more will happen. This is one of the incidents that made me to feel alien in my own homeland. And I left Bangladesh. Sadly, I don't have a country to call my won. But life does not give everything to all man.

  • Sanwar Moni
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:35 PM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    Thanks the government to focus the issue. We want to know more. The Daily Star should carry forward the issue to raise awareness of the people to ensure justice. It may organise campaign for justices involving all medias.

  • Selim Mahbub
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:51 PM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    Rape, arson, looting & other atrocious activities are totally unacceptable crimes in the society. All the criminals must bring under the purview of the country law. However, the commission only published the report of crimes of 2001 post-polls violence, but we demanded to publish the 1996 & 2008 post polls-violence also. We hope impartial report will be published and actual criminals will be punished. But in our country we see the ruling party always reveals the crimes report of the past government to take the political benefits & real victims do not get any compensation here.

  • Tajul Islam, Beijing
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:55 PM GMT+06:00 (250 weeks ago)

    Looking at all the news on oppressions directed to political opponents, women, robberies, gun fights, clashes at universities, killings, suing and counter suing at courts. It looks like Bangladesh is one of the most crime-prone and violent country in the world. Something needs to be done at school to civilise this people.





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