The matter came to light after the girl recovered and the bus driver and his accomplice were arrested. "I was scared at first," she told Prothom Alo. “Then I regained my courage. When the driver tried to hold me down, I punched him in the chest and face.”
When no one from the public transport and law enforcement agencies provided security to the girl, she fought for her own safety. We admire her courage. Hats off. If more women start resisting and protesting against such incidents, their safety will be ensured inside the home and outside. The miscreants will be deterred as well.
Earlier on 23 January morning, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested the driver and his assistant of a Dewan Paribahan bus plying on the Dhaka-Azimpur-Natun Bazar route for allegedly trying to sexually harass a Dhaka University student. The victim jumped out of the moving bus to save herself when the bus workers try to molest her when everyone got down of the bus. In both cases the nature of the perpetrator and self-defence of the victims is similar.
We are concerned with the recent rise in harassment of women on public transport. A few days ago, some miscreants harassed a young woman at Narsingdi railway station. There have been protests in that incident. Every such incident should be protested. There have been incidents of harassment of women in public transport in Dhaka, Chattogram, Manikganj, Tangail and many other places. But other than the rape and murder of a female passenger in Madhupur, Tangail, none of the incidents was investigated or tried.
Our public transport is not women friendly. Women passengers are almost constantly harassed because of their clothes, passengers etc. According to a study by Dhaka Urban Transport Development, 20.7 per cent of women have stopped using public transport for fear of sexual harassment.
These incidents point to the insecurity of female passengers in our public transport. So will female passengers stop using public transport? Will public transport only ply with male passengers? That certainly cannot happen.
We thank the law enforcement agencies for arresting the miscreant and his accomplice involved in the attempted rape of the girl. It remains to be seen whether these miscreants will be punished.