UA No. BIHR/Dhaka/01/06/2010 June 17, 2010
Government of the People's Republic of
Office of the Prime Minister
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Sub: Seeking justice through the proper investigation on the kidnapping of Hindu minority Community child.
Greetings from the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)
The Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), established on the realization of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has been dedicated to protect and promote human rights in Bangladesh from its inauguration.
On March 16, 2010 Sumita Rani Dutta, the 14 year old child of Sree Nanda Dutta of the village and post Fulkocha, under the police station and district of Sirajgonj, was abducted by her so called boyfriend, Sohag Rana Badhon. Then the father of the victim lodged a First Information Report at Sirajgonj Sador police station under the “Prevention of Women and Children Repression Act 2000” (amendment in 2003). However, the concerned police station did not rescue the victim until April 1st 2010 due to the negligence of concerned police administration. Finally, the police compelled to rescue the victim as well as arrest the perpetrators on April 2nd, 2010 due to continuous demonstrations held by the local people, journalists and human rights activists. The incident of human rights violations has conducted a fact finding investigation by three members team of BIHR, comprised of Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot, Executive Director BIHR; Sree Rabindra Prosad Gupto and Ashoke Banarjee since June 6th to June 8th, 2010. After completion of the investigation the findings of the fact finding team‟s are as follows:
1. The perpetrator abducted the child girl in the name of a so called love affair(victim is a minor, she is a child according to her birth certificate).
2. Inspired the filing of the case by the victim‟s father regarding the abduction of his child, the police authorities were negligent in rescuing the victim as well as in arresting the perpetrators.
3. Though the police administration rescued the victim as well as arrested the perpetrators, it was only due to the continuous demonstrations conducted by the local people, journalists and human rights activists, the police authorities were also negligent in completing the medical examination of the victim.
4. The authorities forced the victim to live with female prisoners at the local jail, in the name of „safe custody‟ immediately after her rescue.
5. The parents of the accused and local influential persons are trying to threaten and coerce the victim‟s family into withdrawing the case.
6. The police are not providing adequate protection and support for the victim‟s family.
7. The Investigation Officer tried to prove that the victim is an adult by mentioning the age of the victim as being sixteen years old instead of fourteen years old without considering the birth certificate and school certificate of the victim when she was forwarded to the Residential Medical Officer (RMO) of Sirajgonj General Hospital for Medical Examination to influence the RMO.
8. The Investigation Officer sent the victim to a medical examination without properly informing her legal guardian.
9. The Investigation Officer tried to prove that the victim, being Muslim in religion, using name of the victim as Sumitra @ Mosammed Suma instead of Ms Sumitra Rani Dutta without proper evidence during a forwarding letter to RMO.
10. The Investigation Officer is going to submit charge sheet against Sohag Rana Badhon only under section 7 of the Women and Children Repression Act of 2000 (Amendment 2003) instead of including section 9(1) ( rape) of the same act.
11. The Residential medical officer (RMO), Sirajgonj, did not take proper initiative to do a medical examination. Rather he sent back the victim without completion of the examination, giving as his excuse the refusal of consent by the victim without considering the age of the victim.
12. The police are not taking proper initiatives to prepare and submit the Charge Sheet to the accused.
13. The victim was not provided proper psychological treatment as well as counselling during the time that she was kept the in local jail in the name of “safe custody.”
14. Though the jail code is not applicable for victims that are living in safe custody, the Deputy Commissioner as well as the District Magistrate of Sirajgonj did not give permission to the fact finding team of BIHR to meet with the victim in jail, saying that there is no rule in Jail Code requiring that they give permission.
15. The residential medical officer (RMO) of Sirajgonj registered the victim name as Mrs. Suma instead of Sumitra Rani Dutta while she appeared for her medical examination.
BIHR thinks that all of the above mentioned findings are violations of human rights and should have prompt action taken though proper investigation.
Therefore, the Bangladesh institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is expecting your prompt initiative on this incident to protect and promote human rights, as protecting the fundamental rights as well as the human rights of individuals is a constitutional responsibility. It will be highly appreciated if you send a copy of taken initiatives to the office of BIHR.
Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot
Secretary General/ Executive Director
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)
Cell: 01720308080, email: email@example.com