At one point, the bus driver tried to rape the girl. During the scuffle, the girl punched him and jumped out of the bus. Though the incident occurred at Bakalia Rahattarpul area in the city on 19 May, it only came to light now.

The girl was injured while jumping out of the bus and took treatment at a hospital. After regaining consciousness she informed the police in detail. Later, police found proof of the girl jumping out of the bus from CC camera footage. Police arrested the driver and his assistant from Kuyaish area of Hathazari on Wednesday night.

The victim girl told Prothom Alo on Thursday, “While the driver was taking the bus towards Bakalia without stopping at Bahaddarhat, I asked him to stop but he ignored me. On the contrary the driver tried to push me towards the back of the bus and attempted to rape me. But, I kept struggling against the assaulter.”

The girl added, “At first I was scared, but later I found courage. He repeatedly tried to shove me towards the back seat and I blocked him. I wasn’t ready to be defeated yet. When the bus arrived at Bakalia Rahattarpul area it reduced its speed as there were other vehicles moving on the road. Getting the chance, I jumped off the bus. The driver tried to restrain me before I jumped. So, I punched him in the face and body.”

In reply to the question, where she found the courage at that very moment she said, “I have seen in many movies where someone faces a rape attempt, they free themselves on their own or with help from others. As there was no one else to help me inside the bus, I pushed myself up through courage.”

The girl is the older of two daughters. Her father is a tea-seller by profession. Her younger sister is continuing her studies. Her mother also works at the same factory as herself. Her mother was relieved to get her daughter back, unharmed.

On Thursday she told to Prothom Alo, “My daughter bravely jumped off the bus and could save herself from such a heinous attack. I hope no other girl falls victim to the same situation. The responsible should be punished as well.”

Nobel Chakma, additional deputy commissioner (south) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police informed Prothom Alo, “The girl courageously punched the driver and jumped off. The driver and his assistant have been arrested and the assistant has given a confessional statement. A remand appeal has been made to interrogate the driver. The hearing of that appeal may take place on Sunday. Police have also seized the bus used in the incident.”

In this rape attempt in public transport, fresh panic regarding women’s safety has arisen. Tutul Bahar, a human rights activist in Chattogram who provides free legal support to helpless women, told Prothom Alo, “Exemplary punishment should be given to offenders involved in such heinous acts. Besides, transport owners have to be more careful in appointing drivers and assistants.”

Tutul Bahar added, “The country’s development will be hampered if women fall victim to such incidents on the streets. Thousands of working women return home at night. The law and order agencies have to work being more attentive in creating an environment, where women would feel safe on roads as well as in transport.”

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