Thursday, June 10, 2010

FACT FINDING REPORT:A Hindu Minority community child has been converted and got marriage after abduction by Muslim man


Country                                             : Bangladesh
Name of the victim                         : Ms.Sumitra Dutta
Type of Violation                           : Right to liberty and security, right to personal integrity
Type of Act                                  : Abduction/ rape [1] / forced conversion [2]/ Force marriage[3] 
Investigation conducted by       : Adv. Shahanur Islam, Executive Director, BIHR, Rabindra Prasad Gupto, GHRD and Ashoke Banarjee of HRCBM
Date of investigation                     : 6-9 June, 2010

IDENTITY OF THE VICTIM:
Name                                     : Ms.Sumitra Rani Dutta
Age at time of event           : 14 Years 2 Month 15 Days
Under 18                               :  YES
Citizenship                           : Bangladeshi
Religion                                : Hindu
Home address                 : Vill: Fulkocha, U.P. –Bagbati, P.S. and District- Serajgonj, Bangladesh

DATE AND PLACE OF THE INCIDENT:
Date                                       : 16th March 2010 at 7.00 a.m.  
Location                               : Mango Skaure ( western side of  Bejgati More Dhanirdah) of village Fulkocha in Bagbati Union Parishad, under police station and district of Sirajgonj[4] ; Chhongachha Bazar under police station and district of Sirajgonj[5].
ALLEGED PERPETRATORS:
1) Sohag Rana Bhadhon (24) son of Abdur Razzak of village Satikabari, P.S. and District-Serajgonj

CASE SUMMERY :
Ms. Sumitra Rani Dutta (14), a student of Class IX was abducted by her boy friend Sohag Rana Badhon on 16th of March 2010 around at 7.00 am while she was waiting at Chhongachhi Bazar under police station and district of Sirajgonj. Then the victim was convert as Islam and got marriage with the perpetrator.

The father of the victim came to know about the abduction of his daughter while he called her daughter mole phone and lodged FIR at Serajgonj police station for recovery of the girl and for punishment of the culprits responsible for the kidnapping under national law. Some local people including teachers and students organized a human chain and demonstrated in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) demanding recovery of the victim as well as bring the culprits before the book on March 30, 2010. Later the victim was recover as well as the perpetrator Sohag Rana Badhon was arrested on 2 April 2010.

LEGAL STATUS:
Sree Nanda Dutta (40) father of the victim girl lodged FIR at Serajgonj Police station against the alleged perpetrators on 18th March 2010 under section 7/30 of Women and Children Repression Ordinance, 2000 ( Amendment 2003) (Being Serajgonj P.S. case No. 23 dated 18.03.10). The police recorded the case and he recovered victim on April 2, 2010 and send to the General hospital, Siraj gong on April 3 for medical Examination.  But the Residential Medical Officer of Sirajgonj general Hospital refused to conduct examination due to refusal of given consent by the victim. Then the police produce the victim before the Senior judical magistrate Court, Sirajgonj.  The court took the statement of the victim under section 22 of the Prevention of Women and Children Repression Act and issued an order to send the victim in safe custody April 3, 2010.

On May 13, 2010 the father of the victim file a miss case before the Tribunal of Prevention of Women and Children Repression, Siraj gonj applying to give the victim under custody of her father. But the learned tribunal issued an order to put the victim in safe custody refusing the application of the victim’s father on May 17, 2010.

ACTION:
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights with the help of GHRD investigated the matter from 06th June to 8th June 2010. BIHR team visited the spot, talked with parents of the victim, neighbor of the victim, Investigation officer of the case, Officer in Charge of Serajgonj Sadar Police Station, visited the office of Superintendent of Police, Jailor, Sirajgonj district jail, Senior judicial magistrate, Sirajgonj. BIHR also talked with the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Sirajgon to send the victim safe custody and the victim was sent to the Women, Children and Youth Safe Custody, Rajshahi on 9th June, 2010.

BIHR FINDINGS:
  • The perpetrator abducted the child girl in the name of so called love affairs( victim is minor, she is child according to her birth certificate).
  • Inspire of filing case by the victim’s father regarding to abduction of her child, the police authority made negligence to rescue the victim as well as arrest the perpetrators.
  • Though the police administration rescued the victim as well as arrested the perpetrators due to continuous demonstration done by the local people, journalists and human rights activists, the police authority made negligence to do the medical examination of the victim.
  • The authorities forced the victim to live with female prisoners at the local jail, in the name of ‘safe custody’ immediately after her rescued.

  • The parents of accused and local influential persons are trying threaten and coerce the victims family into withdrawing the case
  • The police are not providing adequate protection and support for the victim’s family.
  • The Investigation Officer tried to prove the victim as adult by mentioning the age of the victim sixteen years instead of fourteen years without considering the birth certificate and school certificate of the victim when she was forwarded to Residential Medical Officer (RMO) of Sirajgonj General Hospital for Medical Examination to make influence the RMO.
  • The Investigation Officer sent the victim to medical examination without properly informing to the legal guardian of the victim.
  • The Investigation Officer tried to prove the victim as Islam in religious using name of the victim as Sumitra @ Mosammed Suma instead of Ms Sumitra Rani Dutta with out proper evidence during forwarding letter to RMO.
  • The Investigation Officer is going to submit charge sheet against Sohag Rana Badhon only under section 7 of Women and Children Repression Act, 2000 (Amendment 2003) instead of including section 9(1) ( rape) of the same act.
  • The Residential medical officer (RMO), Sirajgonj did not take proper initiative to do medical examination. Rather he sent back the victim without completion the examination showing excuse refusal of the consent by the victim without considering the age of the victim.
  • The police are not taking proper initiatives to prepare and submit the Charge Sheet the accused.
  • The victim was not provided proper psychological treatment as well as counselling during the time of keeping in local jail in the name of saafe custody.
  • Though the jail code is not applicable for the victim, who are living in safe custody, the Deputy Commissioner as well as the District Magistrate of Sirajgonj did not give the permission to fact finding team of BIHR to meet with the victim at jail showing excuse that there is no rule in Jail Code regarding to give permission.
  • The residential medical officer (RMO) of Sirajgonj registered the victim name as Mrs. Suma instead of Sumitra Rani Dutta while she was appeared for medical examination.

Thank You
Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot
LL.B (Hon’s); LL.M( law & Justice)
JusticeMakers Fellow 10, Switzerland

Secretary General/Executive Director
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)
Cell: +88 017 20308080,


[1] no medical examined document but main accused confessed that as they got marriage, they make physical relation
[2] no written document but according to statement given by the victim before the court and statement of main accused to FF team the victim convert as Islam
[3] no written document but according to statement given by the victim before the court and statement of main accused to FF team the victim got marriage with the accused
[4] According to statement by victim father
[5] According to Statement given by the victim before the Senior Judicial Magistrate Court, Sirajgonj
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