27 January, 2021

Other Minor Battles

Khaleda comes—and a wave of anti-minority attacks sweeps districts

Other Minor Battles
She would choke repeatedly as she narrated her gruesome story, desperately trying to keep her pride intact. But soon she couldn't hold back her tears and broke down completely. And the audience present at the Dhaka Press Club on October 20 was palpably affected by 15-year-old Purnima Sheel's description of the gang-rape she was subjected to by those whom she called pro-government bullies.

Purnima was brought to Dhaka by a human rights group from Purba Delua, a remote village in northern Serajganj district, 12 days after she was brutally violated in her backyard. She looked terrified, as did her mother, Bashana Rani, who was sitting next to her at the press club. They still do not know what their fault was or why they were attacked. Some two dozen village toughs came to their house on October 8 and began ransacking the household. They then sighted Purnima, took her to the backyard and gang-raped her as her mother screamed vainly for help.

Purnima's story provides just a glimpse of what had been happening for over three weeks countrywide, ever since the centre-right...


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