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Boishakh celebration: Women harassed near TSC

57Several women, who joined the Bengali New Year celebrations on Tuesday, have been sexually harassed by a group of miscreants at Dhaka University’s TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan gate areas.

Witnesses said a group of at least 30 unruly youths swooped on a number of women and assaulted them in the TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan gate areas on Tuesday evening, while a string of festivities were being held, celebrating the first day of the Bengali year, Pohela Boishakh.

Bangladesh Students’ Union’s DU chapter President Liton Nandi, who received severe injuries while trying to rescue one of the woman, told the Dhaka Tribune: “I saw the miscreants assaulting a young woman. She fell onto the ground but the youths were trying to take off her clothing in public.”

“I came forward to rescue her. They started beating me when I tried to save her. I also fell down and broke my right arm.”

“Later, I saved the woman’s honour by covering her with my Panjabi, and was treated at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital,” added Liton.

He blamed the police for the brutal assault on women on the campus.

Questioning the role of police in preventing such incidents, he said: “The on-duty police members did not act during the assault on women. They visited the spot almost one hour later when all the stalkers had left the place quietly.”

Denying the allegations,  Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam said: “The on-duty police charged batons on the youths. But, they failed to stop them from sexually harassing the women in public.”

“We are trying to identify the miscreants by checking the CCTV footage, and legal action will be taken once they are identified.”

When contacted, DU acting Proctor Prof Amzad Ali also blamed the police’s irresponsibility for the attack on the women.

He said: “Such incidents should not have happened on the campus if police had taken immediate steps.”

Following the attacks, Students’ Union, Pragatishil Chhatra Jote, and other leftist student organisations condemned it and announced several protest programmes, demanding the arrest of the culprits.

Protesting the sexual attacks on the women, they also called a press conference on the campus on Wednesday afternoon.