Gang rape: penalty of hilly-Bengali love affair
Mysteriously tribal girls in the Chittagong Hill Tracts fall in love with Bengali youths. Though the Constitution puts no bar on intercultural marriage, the consequence of such emotional bondage is severe and brutal. If any tribal girl hanged out or married Bengali, she becomes an easy target of the separatist organization Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP). In such cases, the tribal girls become victims of abduction, gang rape, sexual harassment, acid-throwing, and even honor killing.
However, this time, no love affairs stimulated the criminals. A Chakma girl was assaulted for using internet service from a Bengali-owned shop in Bilaichari of Rangamti district on May 29 this year. The PCP thugs assaulted the girl in broad daylight, abducted her to the deep forest, where she was raped by the extremists and the crime was recorded through the mobile-phone camera. Later, local police arrested Sunitimoy Chakma, finance secretary of PCP-Santu Larma group, for his involvement with the assault which triggered two days shutdown in the Upazila on June 14-15. The victim, 17, was identified as daughter of Sunil Kanti Chakma of Kotwali thana of the district. The victim detected the arrestee as one of the criminal and the arrestee also admitted his involvement.
According to the victim and prosecution record, the victim passed secondary school certificate examination this year. While she entered Shihab’s Computer Center for applying for college admission through the internet, Suniti with 15-20 cohorts besieged her in the shop and dragged her onto Upazila Health Complex. They beat her up accusing that she had a love affair with Bengali youth. The unruly youths then abducted the victim to the nearby deep forest where they blindfolded her, strip her down, and finally abused her. They also warned her dire consequence if she exposes the incident to anybody.
Later, the belittled girl appeared at the army camp and described her torture. Military personals at the camp forwarded the victim and her mother to the local police station where the victim’s family filed a case under the Women and Children Repression Act. Officer-in-charge of Bilaichari Police Station confirmed the case number as 1/5/16.
Instead of taking disciplinary action against the accused PCP leader, the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS-Santu Group) in protest of the arrest of the accused leader called a strike on June 15-16 across the Upazila.
Shop owner Shihab said he had no emotional bondage with the girl and he is married. He said many Chakma girls and boys throng at his shop for taking the service. Shihab was forced to close the shop on June 14 and the shop owner canceled the agreement with him.
Meanwhile, Parbatya Bengali Chatra Oikya Parishad arranged a human chain demanding immediate arrest and trial of the June 22 in the district. The speakers at the human-chain accused PCJSS and PCP of killing, kidnapping, sexual assault, and sneering racial campaign.
Earlier, in February 2015, a Marma girl and her family was attacked by the criminals and forced to pay ransom money. The family members were brutally beaten up by the group. Photo Journalist Saikat Bhadra of The daily Prothom Alo lost his attractive job for marrying Retina Chakma while the later was forced to forget her husband. The most brutal incident happened in April last year when Deepa Tripura fleeing Khagrachari for marrying a Muslim youth. But he unfortunates were forcefully got down from the bus and Deepa was gang-raped several times by the local PCP leaders. In that time the PCP rapists recorded video of the sexual abuse. Police later arrested UPDF-backed PCP leader Sajib Tripura who admitted the crime.
Recently, Rokeya Lita received a death threat for her research-based novel “Dumurer Ful” which illustrates the real scenario of sexual abuse of tribal girls by their own tribal musclemen.
Aung Chaki Karbary, vice president of upazila awami league and president of karbari association told, there is penalty in tribal society for a tribal girl to marry a Bengali boys. In this case, karbari association fine them Taka 20 thousands. Later no problem to live together.