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Thursday, September 4, 2014, Bhadra 20, 1421, Zilqad 8, 1435 Hijr

Tangail tense as evicted sex workers, Islamists come face to face
Our Correspondent
Publish Date : 2014-09-04,  Publish Time : 18:48,  View Count : 92
TANGAIL: With the return of sex workers evicted from Kandapara Brothel in Tangail town, the Anti-Social Activities Resistance Committee's programmes for Thursday morning were virtually foiled. The committee could not stage demonstration in face of police action. They even could not approach to the Kandapara Brothel.

It is learnt that evicted sex workers started returning to Kandapara from 1pm on Wednesday. Earlier, they sought security to deputy commissioner of Tangail. Following the request, the administration deployed police personnel for their safety. Though some 50 to 60 sex workers entered Kandapara first, their number crossed 100 by Wednesday evening. But, they now stay under the open sky due to demolition of their houses after their eviction on July 12 last. They pass nights in a very inhuman condition building tents with thick polythene and clothes at their own initiatives.

Meanwhile, hearing the news of sex workers' return, the Anti-Social Activities Resistance Committee tried to resist them on Wednesday afternoon, but was not succeeded. Later, leaders of the committee announced to bring out a demonstration from the largest mosque premises in the town.

On Thursday morning, leaders and activists of the committee thronged the town's largest mosque premises. Leaders and activists of Jatiya Tanti League led by its convener Solaiman Hasan also joined the committee's programme. When they tried to bring out a demonstration, police intercepted them. At one stage, police closed all the roads leading to the brothel. Later, the committee leaders and activists staged a sit-in on the main thoroughfare. A large number of police personnel surrounded them.

Leaders of the committee pledged to stay on the road until the sex workers leave their Kandapara Brothel. They also offered Zohr prayers on the road. They were staying on the road till filing this report at 5pm.

On the other hand, 56 house owners and madams of Kandapara Brothel are now busy in construction of their houses with tins, bamboos and wooden piers. House owners Lebu, Dulal, Jahangir Police and Ankhi, Hashi, Shirin, Aleya and Morzina asserted that they would not go to anywhere else leaving their own lands.

They said they have the right to remain alive whatever their profession is. "No evil force will be able to remove us from here. Those who evicted us, they did injustice. We lead our lives selling our bodies. If we have to die, we'll die on our land," one of the sex workers said.

A very tense situation now prevails in Tangail town as the resistance committee and sex workers take position against each other. Some have expressed the apprehension that sex workers may be attacked at any moment. Additional riot police have been deployed at different points to avert any untoward situation.

Tangail police super Saleh Mohammad Tanveer said, "We've nothing to say regarding the return of sex workers. But, none will be allowed to deteriorate law and order."

Kandapara brothel has been operating for about 200 years ago during the British colonial rule to entertain the then zamindars (landlords). It was set up on 302 decimal of land at Kandapara on the bank of river Louhajang. Later, the inhabitants of the brothel got involved in prostitution. According to an NGO, there were 991 sex workers lived at 803 rooms in 56 houses in the brothel. However, locals said the number of sex workers will be about 2,000. Of them, 1,000 were floating sex workers.

There were movements to evict the Kandapara Brothel in 2006 and 2010. However, the movements were not successful. On July 12 last, more than 750 prostitutes were forced out of their houses at Kandapara brothel after the dwelling's owners ordered them shut. Since they were not rehabilitated, they spread to different parts of Tangail town. Some of the sex workers also left for Jamalpur and Doulatdia brothels fearing attacks on them.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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