Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lakho Konthe Exposed: Episode 3, Harassment en masse

As discussed previously, the Lakho Konthe Program, where more than 254,681 people gathered to sing the national anthem in chorus at the National Parade Square grounds in an attempt to create a Guinness world record was widely mismanaged at all ends. A big consequence of this lack of order was seen in the fact that many female participants complained of being physically and verbally harassed in public at the event. In what could be identified as mass instances of harassment, girl students, from the school to the university level complained of both verbal and physical harassment, along with numerous complaints of eve-teasing at the Lakho Konthe program. 

Photo: When smiles are not innocent. Many female participants complained of widespread harassment at the program

Alarmingly the media at large did not cover the worrying phenomenon, indicating the probability of dollops of government interference in this regard. However, the issue could not be kept subdued for long as news surfaced of about 200 angry students of Kuwait Maitree Hall of Dhaka University who broke out with mass protests on 26th December, Wednesday night against harassment by law enforcing agencies in the record 2.5 lakh gathering for chorusing national anthem on Independence Day in front of the Vice Chancellor’s residence.

Earlier, in the morning students of the hall participated in the chorus for the national anthem at the capital’s National Parade Square and they alleged that the law enforcing men harassed them and behaved with ill manners during the event.

Later, students placed allegations of harassment to hall authority. However, the authority has yet to take action as Proctor Dr. Amjad Ali told the media that although he is aware of the issue, he felt that it was a ‘trivial misunderstanding’, hoping that the issue would be settled soon on its own. Sadly, a follow up of events shows the ruling party student cadres getting violently involved and counter reaction from the general students leading to beating up of the Hall unit Chatraleague President and Secretary.  

Photo: With such level of chaos allowed by the administration while moving out, harassment was inevitable 
Sadly however, the administration, instead of providing any support to the affected students or taking action against any perpetrators, has adopted a dismissive attitude, presumably because of the overwhelming evidence of the involvement of ruling party members and supporters in such acts themselves, under the auspices of the administrative care.

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