Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Brave Nusrat died to put us on shame for tolerating injustices

Thousands of women social leaders and general public were demonstrating in the streets all over the country to protest burning to death of a madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi. After struggling with severe burn injuries, she breathed her last on April 10 making us all feel guilty for being inactive against the criminal gangs and the wrongs they are doing. The government also has no regrets for its inability to protect lives of others.

The leaders of criminal gangs enjoying impunity for their political connection are to be stopped if protection against sex abusers is to be secured. The demand for punishment is not the way for preventing crimes. Most cases are great opportunities for some to make money.

The stark truth is such criminal gangs are active all over the country committing rape, murder, extortion and other crimes. They accumulate illegal wealth. It is heard that taka five lakhs were spent to get the job done.

There is no assurance that the government can take strong position against such gangs for their links with politics of the government. The OC of Sonagazi police station in Feni is a party to the impunity system and should have been made an accused. He has been transferred to protect him from public wrath.

 Those who are nurturing and protecting these criminal gangs should be condemned. But these gangs exist as a political adjunct and as we do not have effective political opposition, we want to see social movements growing to save Nusrats still alive but remain vulnerable.

The Principal of the madrasa Siraj Ud Daula was not accused initially. But the situation forced to make the Principal accused. Nusrat was earlier threatened with dire consequences if the case was not withdrawn. But brave Nusrat refused to withdraw the case.

As has come to light the police joked with her when she went to the police station to lodge the case for sexual harassment. Why police help did not come should be investigated intensely. For the sake of discipline in the police, if not for anything else, the OC of Sonagazi police station in Feni should have been punished properly. In fact there is every justification to make him an accused as an abettor to the killing of the girl student.

The pro-government women rights NGOs have been slow to react and feeble in their protest. Our politics has no humanity. But a lot of social bodies came forward to express their disgust at the brutal killing.

The government supported women bodies carefully shielded the government by shifting the entire blame on the police as if police are not part of the government. Negligence of the police is negligence of the government under a non-accountable government.

Nusrat's cry for justice was not to attract the attention of the government or the police but to whole society that tolerates such heinous wrongs and a justice system unable to guarantee justice due to political pressure.

The victims of horrors of sexual abuse hardly get publicity, not to talk of getting justice. These crimes against women have become the easiest ones.

One placard carried by women protesters angrily announced their determination to avenge Nusrat's terrible killing by burning. That is the approach right in the present situation.

According to information supplied by the police makes it clear that Siraj Ud Daula has been continuing his sexual harassment activities together with his gang members to the knowledge of all.

He was in jail in connection with another crimes. But that did not stop him from giving order from the jail to burn Nusrat.

Nusrat's cry for justice was not to the government or the police but to whole society that tolerates such wrongs and a justice system unable to guarantee justice against impunity. The pervasive fear has made us all helpless victims in our own country.

Demanding justice after commission of life-threatening crimes without the government's competence to prevent crimes is farcical  for saving lives.