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Bounty for 8 Pohela Boishakh sex offenders


Newsworldbd.com -17.05.2015

Police yesterday declared Tk1 lakh bounty for providing information to capture eight people for their involvement in the series of sexual assaults of women and children on Dhaka University campus during the traditional Pohela Boishakh celebrations.17-05-15-IGP_Press Briefing-1

They were recognised from footages of the police’s CCTV cameras installed in the TSC area of the university.

However, the Detective Branch of police earlier said they had found the involvement of at least 12 wrongdoers. Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam, though could not confirm their identities, claimed that the accused were not DU students.

According to media reports, at least 20 women and children were reported to have been sexually assaulted by several gangs of stalkers in the afternoon and evening on April 14 near the Suhrawardy Udyan gate
of the TSC.

Some youths of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, including its DU unit President Liton Nandi, caught two of the assualters and handed them over to the police. But they were later released.

Through yesterday’s announcement, the police have acknowledged the incidents of sexual assaults on that day. Earlier both the police and the DU authorities claimed that the allegations were baseless. They also mentioned that none of the victims had filed any complaint with the police.

“We have been able to recognise faces of eight people but we do not know their names or whereabouts. Anyone who comes forward and helps in the capture of an assaulter will be given Tk1 lakh as reward,” AKM Shahidul Haque, the inspector general of police, told reporters at the Police Headquarters.

He assured that identity of the informer would be kept secret and the person given proper security.

The IGP said they had earlier provided the CCTV footages to the media and invited information through email and phone. “But we did not got anything.”

After the briefing, police released apparently blur photos of the eight suspected sexual abusers.

During the primary stage, police denied having any evidence of sexual assault while DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah termed the incident merely scuffle. He also blamed media for exaggerating the issue.

The IGP last week deplored the inaction of the people around the spots where the incidents had taken place. He said the alleged incidents were actually naughtiness of some youths.

On April 22, the police claimed to have recognised four to five youths from CCTV footages.

The incident sparked a wave of protest throughout the country with people
from all quarters condemning the incident and demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.

Student bodies of Dhaka University have been staging protests since the incident while many organisations in home and abroad expressed solidarity with the call. Police filed a case over the incidents on April 15.

Condemning police inaction and negligence in performing duty, the student groups on May 10 marched towards the DMP Headquarters in Minto Road but were barred by the police. At least 34 activists were injured as they had been beaten up mercilessly.

Activists have also been campaigning on social media including Facebook and blogs circulating photos and videos. Some TV channels and Facebook pages also published some photos which were shared widely. However, none of the recognised persons could be identified so far.

The police have also been investigating the role of law enforcers during the Pohela Boishakh assaults and the action on protesters on May 10.

The probe bodies found DMP Assistant Commissioner Sahedur Rahman, Inspector of Shahbagh police station Saidul Haque Bhuiyan and Sub-Inspector of the police station Ashraf responsible. In mid-April, police suspended Ashraf for his negligence, but the information could not be confirmed.

AC Sahedur who was on duty in TSC area on that day could not fathom out the importance of the incident. SI Ashraf and Inspector Saidul released two assaulters without discussing it with their higher authorities even after a mob handed the molesters over to them.

However, no action has been taken against the trio.

On April 26, a police probe body found no fault of the law enforcers deployed in TSC area.

On the other incident of May 10, a naik-ranked official was suspended for attacking a female protester and torturing her.

The probe bodies are still working on why the protesters were allowed to reach Minto Road, a VVIP area, and the allegations of excess. Sources said several other police officers may face action too.




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