Protest against rape at DU

The rape of a Dhaka University student on Sunday night has sparked outrage with the incident once again raising concern over women’s safety in the capital and elsewhere.

The crime scene near the Kurmitola General Hospital is several yards from the Airport Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the capital.

Fellow students of the victim, 21, took to the streets yesterday, demanding justice be delivered to her.

The students in their hundreds and irrespective of their political affiliations demonstrated throughout the day. At one point, they gave the authorities a 48-hour ultimatum to arrest the rapist(s). Otherwise, they warned they would wage a tough movement.


Protest against rape at Dhaka University.
Photo: Suman Paul/ Drik

Yesterday, officials from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) collected evidence, including a wrist watch and a keyring, from the crime scene, about 150 yards off the hospital’s gate in Kurmitola.

In other developments, doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) found evidence of rape following forensic tests on the victim, and her father filed a rape case against unknown accused with Cantonment Police Station.

The victim, a second-year student, was undergoing treatment at the DMCH’s One-Stop Crisis Centre. She was taken to the hospital early yesterday.

She was still traumatised, said doctors last night.

The rape took place while the victim was walking from Kurmitola bus stop to a friend’s house in nearby Sheora area around 7:30pm on Sunday. She had just got off a university bus.

Her friends said she was supposed to get down at Sheora bus stand, but she left the bus in Kurmitola area mistakenly. She was going to the house to study with her friends ahead of exams.

A few minutes after she got off the bus, someone grabbed her from behind, gagged her and took her to an isolated place nearby.

She was raped and tortured there, some of her friends said, quoting her.

After regaining consciousness around 10:00pm, she somehow went to her friend’s home and her friends then took her to the DMCH.

DU Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani visited her at the hospital early yesterday while Vice Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman later in the morning. Talking to reporters, the VC said the university authorities would do everything necessary so that the victim gets justice.

Later in the day, DU students as well as members of different socio-cultural organisations came to the streets on the campus. They demanded that the government bring the rapist(s) to book immediately.

Many took to social media to express their anger at the lack of women safety in the country.

Rights body Ain O Salish Kendra condemned the rape incident and demanded legal steps against those involved.

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