Once again an indigenous girl was killed after being brutally raped in Borodalupara village, Kawkhali Upazila of Rangamati district. The victim, Khomaching Marma (14) was a student of class eight. Her dead body was found in the slopes of a mountain just 200-300 yards away from her home. She was last seen going to a nearby jungle to bring her family’s cattle back home.
Rina Dewan posted on her Facebook wall [bn] regarding the reason behind this heinous crime:
There is a settler village named Nallyachari Uttor Matha within half a kilometer of the place where Thomaching’s dead body was recovered. During the early 1980s the government evicted the indigenous Marmas from their land and settled Bengalis there. Now those settlers claim a large portion of Borodalupara as theirs. A few days ago, some Marma villagers planted ginger in their lands but the settlers destroyed their crops and created unrest. It has been learnt that conflict exists for land between the maternal uncle of Thomaching Marma and the Bengali settlers. So, it is suspected that she was raped and killed to avenge.
Violence against indigenous women has increased in recent times. A few months ago, another indigenous girl was raped and killed. She was a student of class five. Hari kishore Chakma, a journalist, provides some statistics on the rape of indigenous women in an article at daily Prothom Alo [bn]:
Up to November of this year, 20 indigenous girls and women were raped in three hill districts. Thomaching Marma’s name is now added to this ever-growing list. In 2011, 10 indigenous women were raped. Kapaeng, a human rights organization, reported this statistics. According to this organization, 51 indigenous women were the victims of violence during this year. This number was 31 in 2011 and just 4 in 2008.
This brutal rape and murder once again has spread anger and rage across the country. Processions have been arranged in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Netizen have also expressed their rage and protested.
Mithun Chakma Jummo posted on Facebook:
Just like the numb, cold body of our sister, have we also become numb? India protested vehemently against recent gang-rapes, Imphal cried out for justice against sexual harassment of a girl. What should be our protests? Only one procession? Then becoming quiet and numb again!
Adivasi Aodhikar Andolon (CHT) wrote:
In the news, I saw India roaring in protest against the gang-rape in a Delhi bus. It felt good to see their unity. Media is also standing with them. The India government has been forced to arrest the perpetrators.
Recently an indigenous girl was raped and killed at Borodalupara village in Kawkhali upazila of Rangamati district.
And? The Police have failed to arrest even a single perpetrator!
Just like this, hundreds of our indigenous sisters and mothers have been becoming the victims of rapes and murders for a long time.
Blogger Anik wrote:
These offenses are establishing an image of Bangladesh in my mind. The image of a rapist and a murderer. It feels like ferocious potential rapists and murderers are roaming around us all the time. There is no guarantee that some of them will not suddenly lose control and submit to their urges.