Letter To the Editor
Take steps against sexual harassment
The death of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, who died after being burnt and sexually harassed, brought rampant sexual harassment in educational institutions in focus, but students are reported to be regularly facing such harassment. Students of computer science and engineering in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj went on hunger strike and boycotted classes and examinations demanding punishment of a teacher alleged to have sexually assaulted two female students in January. The situation in the university shows how the formation of anti-sexual harassment committees cannot alone address the pervasive problem as prompt action is often not taken.
Moreover, students of Jahangirnagar University have previously complained of the patriarchal mentality of committee members and spoke of the harassment a female student has to endure when the accused belongs to politically influential quarters. Such a mentality is also demonstrated in the way the Sonagazi police officer-in-charge discouraged Nusrat saying that the assault on her was 'nothing serious.' This culture needs to be stopped.