Bangladesh court demands govt explanation over failure to protest ‘whipped to death’ teen

Sunday, February 6, 2011

DHAKA - Amid massive protests, the Bangladesh High Court has demanded an explanation from the government over its failure to protect a teenage girl who died after being whipped in accordance with a fatwa (edict) issued in Shariatpur three days ago.

Gulf News quoted court officials and reports as saying that a two-member High Court bench had asked the district police chief and two other administrative officials to explain, in 15 days, why they “failed” to protect the 14-year-old girl.

Hena Akhter was whipped after the shalish, a village body consisting of local elders, had ordered that she should receive 101 lashes last week for allegedly having an illicit relationship with her cousin and neighbour, Mahbub, The Guardian reports.

The case took shape when Hena had gone out to use the bathroom when she accidentally met Mahbub, who put something on her mouth to stop her from crying out before raping her in Shariyatpur on January 31.

The assault had left her almost unconscious, unable to walk or talk. When her family complained to the shalish, they raised doubts on her character.

After Mahbub’s wife, Shilpi, complained that he had been secretly meeting Hena, village elders found both cousins guilty and ordered that Hena be given 101 lashes, and Mahbub 201.

After the punishment was carried out, Hena was taken to hospital, and six days later, she was pronounced dead.

Her shocked uneducated father Darbesh, who is lamenting over what has happened, had vehemently demanded for justice for his departed daughter.

“I hardly wish I was alive. I didn’t think my daughter would die before me. I can’t think; my life is ruined. I told the police everything they want to know. I want a proper investigation, and I want justice. What happened in Mahbub’s home - what sort of justice is this?” Darbesh said. (ANI)

Filed under: World

will not be displayed