Demanding an impartial investigation and fair trial in the case of a college girl who was found dead at a Gulshan apartment, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) and National Committee for Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls and Social Injustice expressed grave concern over the increasing level of violence and abuse against women and girls in Covid-19 pandemic.
The two rights groups organised a press conference yesterday, where BMP central committee assistant general secretary Advocate Masuda Rehana Begum presented a keynote paper.
She said the deterioration of social values, lack of rule of law, delayed justice, weak implementation of law and corruption have been working as major key factors behind social injustice and violence against women and girls.
“Criminals are repeatedly getting away with crimes. The death of the young girl in Gulshan is a reflection of that,” she said.
Advocate Masuda also presented a nine-point demand for a fair probe of the Gulshan incident. She said the accused must be brought under the law immediately, action should be taken for providing a quick autopsy report, the safety of the family members of the victim must be ensured and the government and the administration must play an active and effective role in ensuring a fair and speedy trial.
She also demanded to stop the practice of victims-blaming, urged media to play a responsible role in such incidents, and called on to formulate a national commission for framing necessary guidelines for the elimination of violence against women.
BMP president Dr Fauzia Moslem said, “the movement to prevent violence against women is not just the duty of women’s rights organisations. Everyone has to work for it.”
“Those involved in the Gulshan incident are not seen to be on quick trial. We are now seeing how the abundance of money can make people inhumane, who can buy the entire society,” she added.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Nizamul Haque Nasim, who is also a member of the national committee, urged journalists to dig deep and present accurate information in the case of the Gulshan girl and law enforcement agencies to be more active in this regard.
He also called on the government, law enforcement agencies, judiciary, media and women’s rights groups to work together to prevent violence against women.
Former National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman said it is very sad to demand a fair and impartial trial for the death of a woman in the 50 years of independence.
“The fair trial of violence against women and girls should be a normal process in the administration of justice,” he said.
The conference was moderated by Advocate Maksuda Akhter, legal advocacy and lobby director of BMP.
BMP general secretary Maleka Banu, joint general secretary Shima Moslem, legal aid secretary Shahana Kabir, and finance secretary Dil Afrose Begum among others, joined the conference.