Women’s death from violence shots up in 3 SW dists

Posted: জানুয়ারি 13, 2009 in Women Rights

157 killed last year against 82 in 2007 in Kushtia, Meherpur and Chuadanga

At least 157 women were killed last year in three southwestern districts of Kushtia, Meherpur and Chuadanga due to violence against them against 82 in the previous year.

But most of the deaths were recorded with police as ‘abnormal deaths’ or ‘suicide’. Torture that led to death or suicide were not mentioned in police records, sources in NGO’s working for women’s rights and development said.

Many more incidents remained unrecorded with police as relatives of then victims avoided filing cases fearing retaliation by killers and apprehending alleged harassment by police, police sources in Kushtia said.

According to sources including police, newspapers reports and NGOs, most of the victims were housewives, killed in ‘torture’ allegedly by their husbands or family members. But the violence behind the deaths were not investigated.

“This was an abnormal rise,” some police officials in Kushtia said seeking anonymity.

The highest number of 103 killings took place in Kushtia, followed by 30 in Meherpur and 24 in Chuadanga. In the previous year also, highest number of 70 deaths took place in Kushtia.

In most of the incidents, demand for dowry was the main reason, the sources said.

In few cases, poverty was behind family feuds leading to torture by husbands.

“Violence on women was main cause that led either suicide or killing of women,” a doctor at Kushtia General Hospital said.

“The victims’ families also want to avoid unwanted trouble and harassment because in most cases, killers are protected by their influential patrons or section law enforcers,” said Hasan Ali, local representative of Dhaka based NGO ADHIKAR.

Contacted, several high police officials in the two other districts also shared the same view.

Kushtia Police Superintendent Mosleh Uddin however said, “The scenario will change as police have opened the door for victims and their families to lodge allegations without fear”. A separate desk is working at each police station to check violence against women, he said.

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