4.5 lakh women raped during liberation war

March 27, 2012

A recent study revealed, about 4.5 lakh women surrendered their chastity and were humiliated by the Pakistani army and its collaborators during the liberation war.
There is no data of the rapes, killings and kidnappings of women during the liberation war but some data were collected from sources in the last few years, War Crimes Facts Finding Committee disclosed.
“We conducted a survey in 85 police stations under 42 districts and interviewed 267 persons, based on those facts we found that about 4.5 lakh women were raped during the nine months of the 1971 liberation war, said Convener of War Crimes Facts Finding Committee Dr M Hasan.
The 20th century of Bangladesh witnessed war and struggle which finally led to the independence of its motherland. The heinous torture on women during the liberation war can never be forgiven in the history of mankind.
The study also said, about 56.5 per cent Muslim women, 41.44 per cent Hindu women and 2.06 per cent women from other religions were humiliated during the liberation war.
“We found that most of the women who lost their respect were married, it was about 66.5 per cent but according to the fact sheet provided by the Indian government we found 44 per cent unmarried women who were Hindu by religion were in different relief camps in India during that period”, Hasan added.
Jessore, Jhenaidah, Barisal, Khulna, Khulna Port, Satkhira, Magura, Sylhet, Kushtia, Faridpur, Chaudanga, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Patuakhali, Bhola and Bagerhat were the worst areas in terms of women humiliation, Hasan said.
“Although there is no data of rapes, killings and kidnappings of women by the Pakistani military but we can get the picture from the contemporary foreign press reports and women’s testimonies of rape and widowhood”, women activist Shirin Akhter said.
The study said, the torture against women started from the “Operation Search Light”, 18,527 women were raped in March, 35,000 in April, 32,000 in May, 25,000 in June, 21,000 in July, 12,000 in August, 15,000 in September, 19,000 in October, 14,000 in November and 11,000 in December.
The study also claimed, family members were not ready to accept the rape victims, but their husbands came forward and started their marital life again.
Shirin Akhter said, the Geneva Conventions (Act 27 and 147) specifies, women should be protected against rape in particular and included it as an act of torture and inhumane treatment, because it constituted an attack on the integrity and identity of a woman.
In 1995, these concerns were integrated into the Beijing Platform of Action and in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, so we hope the government will take directions from this trail, she added.

Courtesy of The Independent

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