BANGLADESH: The second wife of the father sends a 13-year-old girl to a hotel where sex services are provided and files a complaint about others with the collaboration of the police
A special call to all human rights organisations and especially womens organisations to intervene in a scandalous incident where a 13-year-old girl has been subjected to sexual abuse and confinement
The 13 year old Khaleda Khatun, who the family had earlier said to be missing was found today, by a search party at the Sumi Hotel, owned by Mr. Lal Mian at Mongla Port in Bagerhat district. This hotel has the reputation of providing sex services. The finding of the girl this morning lead the hotel owner to admit that the girl had been kept there and thereafter on the insistence of the search party, the girl has been handed over to the Mongla Police Station. As we go to print on this statement she is currently at this police station. As far as we are aware no statement has been recorded from the girl, the hotel owner or the members of the search party by the officers of the Mongla Police Station. A womens human rights organisation is likely to intervene with the police in the coming hours in order to provide the girl with the necessary protection and ensure proper enquiries.
This episode brings to light a scandal of large magnitude which involves the second wife of the father of this girl, the police officers at Pikjachaa, which had made strenuous effort to fabricate charges against innocent persons including a well known human rights activist and also extracting heavy bribes from the families of those concerned. Innocent suspects have also been tortured. The details of the fabrication, arrest and detention are as follows:
Nilufa Begum, the wife of Abul Hussein Gazi, of Biresshi Village at Pikjachaa in the district of Khulna, made a complaint to the Paikgachha Police Station that her daughter Khaleda Khatun (13) was kidnapped by some persons and ever since she has been missing. It turns out that Khaleda Khatun is not the daughter of Nilufa Begum.
Khaleda Khatuns real mother is Ms. Hamida Begum, who was the wife of Mr. Abdul Hussein Gazi and who is now separated from her husband. Hamida Begum is the mother of three children by Abul Hussein Gazi. Hamida Begum and Abul Hussein separated two years ago when Abul Hussein married Nilufa Begum who is also known as Jahanara Begum. Hamida Begum revealed these facts in an affidavit she has signed before a notary public in Paikgachha.
In her affidavit the mother of Khaleda Khatun states that My husband has kept my daughter Khaleda, in an unknown place and has shown Ms. Nilufa Begum, her as the mother of my daughter.
According to the information gathered later by close relatives of the actual mother of the girl, Hamida Begum, the girl is now being kept in a brothel in Mongla Port in Bagerhat district against her will. They suspect that it has been a conspiracy by the second wife to be rid of the daughter of her husbands first marriage.
Meanwhile, five persons have been accused by the police on the basis of the complaint of Nilufa Begum on the alleged abduction of Khaleda Khatun. Out of the five persons two have been arrested, and they are: F.M.A Razzak and Shankar Dhali. Several of the police officers in the area have connived in the arrest of these two persons and the filing of an action against five persons in the Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court of Paikgachha. The police have also extracted bribes from the family of the two persons who are under arrest. Due to protests the two persons had to be produced before court after they were kept at the police station for six days from November 3 8.
The two persons who were arrested were also severely assaulted at the police station. Meanwhile, they were also paraded in the streets, giving the impression that they are heinous criminals. F.M.A Razzak is a law graduate, aspiring to be a lawyer and is now the editor of fortnightly newspaper, Gonomichhil. This publication has published many news items critical of the police, judges and the habits of bribery that prevails in the area.
This incident raises grave concerns on two issues. One is the handing over of a girl of 13 years by her own guardians; that is the fathers second wife with the knowledge of the father. The other is the fabrication of charges and eliciting of enormous sums in bribes from innocent persons who have been made scapegoats for a crime which was done within the family.
The issue of the rescue of the girl from the brothel should take priority over all other issues. Therefore it is the duty of the state authorities in Bangladesh to take prompt action to rescue the girl and provide her with legal and other protection as the local police cannot be relied upon for this purpose as they themselves have been involved with the family, in the fabrication of charges and the elicitation of bribes.
It is also the duty of the state authorities to release F.M.A Razzak who is being held without any basis for a crime that has, in fact, been done by the family which made the fabricated complaint. This matter needs also to be investigated and the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.
We urge that:
a. The custody of the girl be given to her real mother, Hamida Begum and the state to provide protection and assistance to the girl.
b. An inquiry into the conduct of Nilufa Begum, the second wife of the father, who pretending to be the mother, has made false complaints while the girl was being kept in a hotel providing sex services;
c. An inquiry into the conduct of the father and the hotel owner, Mr. Lal Mian for their involvement in this heinous crime.
d. Stern action be taken against officers of the Paikgachha Police Station for conniving with the persons named above and assisting them to fabricate charges against others; for arrest, detention, torture and extortion from two innocent persons regarding this issue.
e. Mr. F.M.A Razzak and Mr. Shankar Kumara Dhali be immediately released from detention on the basis of fabricated charges and a false claim of abduction filed against them; inquire into the police conduct into this matter and provide redress for this gross injustice.
We urge everyone to write to:
1. Mr. Nur Mohammad
Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Fax: +880 2 956 3362 / 956 3363
Tel: +880 2 956 2054 / 717 6451 / 717 6677
2. Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed
Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
Office of the Chief Advisor
Fax: +880 2 811 3244 / 3243 / 1015 / 1490
Tel: +880 2 882 816 079 / 988 8677
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Major General (Rtd.) M. A. Matin
Ministry of Home Affairs
Tel: +880 2 7169069 (O)
Fax: +880 2 7160405, 880 2 7164788 (O)
4. Mr. Md. Asaduzzaman Mian
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
Office of the DIG of Khulna Range
Tel: +880 41 761823 (O)
Fax: +880 41 761300 (O)
For earlier communications on this matter kindly see:
UPDATE (Bangladesh): Two human rights defenders are at risk of torture in their police remand, UPDATE (Bangladesh): Police demand more bribes from detained human rights defenders and UPDATE (Bangladesh): Superior police patronise Paikgachha police to continue fabricating charges against detained human rights defenders.