‘Series of sexual harassment on 7 March sparks nationwide condemnation’

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Friday alleged that a series of sexual harassment incidents took place on the day of ruling Bangladesh Awami League’s 7 March rally, sparking a wave of nationwide condemnation.

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

“These incidents are nothing new by Chhatra League-Juba League. One of the examples of Chhatra League’s countrywide misdeeds was the Eden College incident of few years ago. And the heinous sexual harassment of women day before yesterday are just a sequel to their [Chhatra League] past incidents,” BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told a media briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters.

Bangladesh Chhatra League aka BCL and Bangladesh Awami Juba League are the two key affiliated bodies of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL).

The BNP leader said although the home minister promised bringing the culprits of the sexual harassment to justice, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader, also the road transport and bridges, denied responsibility of the harassments.

“Then, is Mr Quader encouraging those who molested girls instead of speaking of bringing them to book?”

Rizvi claimed, “AL’s front organisations have now emerged to be the embodiment of fear.”

Alleging that the law enforcers are launching “brutal attacks” on the peaceful rallies of the opposition, Rizvi said, “The law enforcers are foiling opposition programmes by lobbing tear shells, using water cannons and batons. The law enforcers don’t even hesitate to assault the senior BNP leaders, in breach of political norms.”

The BNP senior joint secretary general said massive participation of people in the opposition’s programmes demanding release of BNP chairperson and former minister Khaleda Zia has made the “unelected” AL government nervous.