Govt will frame tougher law to prevent sexual harassment: PM

SANGSAD BHABAN, April 29,2019 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the government will ensure the maximum punishment to the culprits by enacting tougher law, if necessary, to prevent the sexual harassment.

“There’ll be no mercy for those who will be involved in such sexual harassments… if necessary, we must frame a tougher law, and ensure the maximum punishment to those who will commit such crimes,” she said pointing at brutal killing of Feni’s Sonagazi Madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi.

Participating in a discussion on the resolution placed in parliament, the Leader of the House called upon the parliaments, governments and citizens of all countries of the world to build up resistance against terrorism and sexual harassments.

Mentioning that the militancy and terrorism are not a problem of Bangladesh alone, but also the whole world, Sheikh Hasina said her government will do whatever necessary to combat the menaces.

The prime minister renewed her call to the people of the country to inform the intelligence agencies instantly after knowing any suspicious activity to fight militancy and terrorism in the country.

“I would like to urge the people of country to inform our intelligences promptly if you notice any abnormal activity so that we can face it and save the public life and property,” she said.

Terming Nusrat a brave girl, the prime minister said she did not bow to injustice and did not agree to withdraw the case filed against the principal of her madrasah.

“After the incident, efforts were made to label Nusrat as characterless. But she protested this till her death and she was burnt to death for showing this bravery,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The prime minister said she instantly directed the police to bring the perpetrators to book. “I don’t want to see who belong to which party … the criminals are criminals. Such incident can never be accepted,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina firmly said those who are engaged in such incident, the government must take action against them irrespective of their political affiliation and views.

Treasury Bench lawmaker Tofail Ahmed placed the proposal in the House, which was passed by voice vote after around four-hour marathon discussion over the resolution.

In the resolution, Jatiya Sangsad expressed its deep shock and anger at the loss of lives of a huge number of people in the terror attacks in New Zealand’s Christchurch mosques, Sri Lankan churches and Hotels as well as sexual harassment towards Feni Madrasa student Nusrat and burning her to death.

The House expressed profound shock and sorrow at the tragic death of Zayan Chowdhury, a grandson of Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Health Ministry Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim who was killed in the terror attacks in Colombo on Easter Sunday.

Later, Parliament unanimously adopted the resolution urging the parliaments, governments and citizens of all countries of the world to forge resistance against terror incidents and sexual harassments.

Awami League lawmakers Amir Hossain Amu, Begum Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mohammad Nasim, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Shajahan Khan, Meher Afroze and Aroma Dutta, Opposition Chief Whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga, Jatiya Party MPs Fakhrul Imam, Kazi Firoz Rashid and Dr Rustum Ali Faraji, Workers’ Party President Rashed Khan Menon and Jasod MPs Moin Uddin Khan Badal and Shirin Akter, among others, participated in the discussion over the resolution.

Regarding the demand of lawmakers about framing of tougher law to prevent sexual harassment, the premier said the government has made arrangements of trial through mobile courts.

“We will enact a tougher law ‘Insha Allah’, if necessary, to check sexual harassment,” she said.

The Leader of the House said a teacher is like parents and the students will learn from him or her. “But if a teacher becomes spoiler, there is nothing more shame than it and if it happens in a madrasa,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The prime minister said in the series bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, 253 people, including 42 foreigners, were killed and over 500 others, including Zayan Chowdhury’s father, were injured.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh denounces the terror attacks in New Zealand mosques and Sri Lanka’s churches and hotels. “I would like to call upon everybody in Bangladesh to stay alert against terrorism and militancy,” she said.

Referring to the Holey Artisan attack in Dhaka and Sholakia Eid Jamaat attack in Kishoreganj, the prime minister said the law enforcement agencies curbed these attacks within hours.

“Our intelligence agencies, RAB and police are working hard to contain terrorism and militancy … they are taking action if they find any evidence of such crimes,” she said.

In this connection, the Leader of the House thanked the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

“Our law enforcement agencies are taking actions against militants and terrorists because of providing information at right time by intelligences,” she said.