“No more rape, no more violence!”

Yesterday, it was foggy winter morning when we set out to Modhupur, Tangail, located in central part of Dhaka Division. The temperature was so low that we all were literally shivering. We were 9 from different organisations under one platform – the women forum. On January 8, we travelled from Dhaka to Modhupur to protest recent rape of incident. We were looking to take part in a human chain, a press meet and also to speak with people concerned. But, we were fully unaware that Modhupur has planned something else for us!

Leaving the busy chaotic Dhaka city when we reached Modhupur, sunlight was only peeking.  Which amazed me most is that thousands of people already out and about with banners paying no heed to the severe cold wave. People’s faces, their body language – all reflecting full determination to ensure exemplary punishment for the perpetrators. All they wanted was firm actions from the police and local administration against the accused.

Daylong protest united people in Tangail

Finally, the human chain turned into a procession. We marched towards nearby Upzilla Parishad (lower tier of Government) and roamed around the city with the slogans:

No mercy for rapists!

No More rape! 

Administration, answer us! We want justice!

In my entire lifetime I never had such an experience! Commuters, vehicle drivers, roadside vendors – all looking at us and wondering what is happening?! I believe our message on VAW was conveyed to them.

Then it was the local Press Club. Journalists of several national newspapers informed that Modhupur police station is not taking matters seriously. We were shocked to know that the accused are ‘ENJOYING’ their time at prison as they are backed by the local elite! Then we immediately decided to do something and visit the police station right away!

Officers-in-Charge (OC) Md. Mojibor Rahman welcomed us to his station and this is an excerpt:

WE: Are you being pressurized by influential people?

OC: No, rather we are doing everything possible to ensure justice in this matter.

The local activists reminded OC of few incidents of rape that took place earlier but did not see any justice. OC promised that this time it would be different. 

Despite this promises, our WAR against the perpetrators of this heinous crime will not stop here. We mobilised a huge number of people and activists who are representatives from all walks of life and are very much committed to ensure justice. Both locally and nationally our fight against violence against women will continue till we see justice for Aparajita (pseudonym).

So for me, personally it has been a day to remember and all I want is exemplary punishment for rapists. A SAFE city is futile without safety of girls and women!