Once again, a women was gang-raped and beaten in the evening of the Noakhali Upazila Parishad election day for voting the candidate of her own choice in the elections. Ain o Salish (ASK) strongly condemns this incident and expresses concern.
According to various media reports, on 31 March, 2014, at 7pm, a woman was gang-raped and her husband was beaten on the fishery farm of Ruhul Amin of North Baggya village under Charbahar Union of Noakhali’s Subarnachar Upazila. The woman complainant while in treatment in Noakhali General Hospital, shared that when she and her husband were returning to their house in the evening of election day, right at that time the Tala symbol candidate and 10-12 people led by Yusuf Majhi the supporter of the now elected Vice Chairman of Upazila Parishad, Farhad Hossain Bahar, beat them and later gang raped the complainant in nearby Kalabagan. She further alleged that this incident took place because they, the husband and wife, did not vote for the candidate of the Tala symbol, and rather voted for the candidate of the ‘Choshma’ symbol. It is to be noted that on December 30, on the day of national election, a similar incident took place, where a woman was gang-raped in the same upazila for the same reason.
It is the constitutional and political right of every citizen to have the right to vote for a candidate of own choice in a democratic country. It cannot be a part of the political culture of a democratic country to influence people by threatening or by committing such brutal crime like rape. ASK to ascertain the allegations quickly and neutrally with regard to authenticity and to take appropriate legal action against those involved. We are very worried about the reoccurrence of this incident. Our demand is that the concerned authorities will take quick appropriate steps to ensure legal action and will speed up the punishment.