Whether anyone with such dress code can go to railway station in civilised country: HC

High Court
File photo

Over the harassment of a girl for her dress code at Narsingdi railway station, the High Court (HC) has questioned whether anyone wearing such dress can go to the railway station in a civilised country.

The HC said "The girl was in an objectionable state in the platform, which is seen in the CD. Is it your rights? Is it your rights to dress?"

A HC bench comprising justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain and justice AKM Zahirul Haque came up with this observation on Tuesday while conducting bail hearing of an accused in a case filed over harassing a the girl at Narsingdi railway station for her dress code.

Following the hearing, the court granted a six-month anticipatory bail to the accused, Marzia Akhter alias Shila.

Challenging the bail order, the prosecutor argued in the hearing that Shila started the incident. She asked, ‘Have you worn this type of dress?’ Then Shila called people. She pulled the T-shirt's collar of the girl and her friends, after hurling derogatory remarks, and asked to apologise.

The assistant attorney general Syeda Zahida Sultana said a person is entitled to wear the dress as he/she wishes. For this, nobody can harass them.

Then the court said to the attorney general, “Is there rights for preserving culture and tradition? Isn't the dress a part of the culture? The socio-economic condition of a society - where you visit – is also an important issue. There are differences between Dhaka and the rural areas in terms of socio-economic conditions.

Then the assistant attorney general said the culture is changeable.

Lawyer Md Kamal Hossain stood for the accused Shila in the hearing. He said no victim has filed a case in the incident. Although the regional jurisdiction of the case is in Dhaka, Shila was produced before the Narsingdi court after arrest, which was illegal.

On 18 May early, a female student of a private university in Dhaka was subjected to assault and abusive words for her dress code at Narsingdi railway station. Two of her friends also were assaulted – an incident that went viral on social media where netizens vented anger over the harassment of the girl.

Later, Narsingdi railway police outpost filed a case with the Bhairab railway police station under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.

Police arrested Shila on 30 May.