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Cop suspended for stalking college girl in Bangladesh

world Updated: May 11, 2010 17:31 IST

PTI
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As Bangladesh witnesses a growing anti-stalking campaign by women and rights groups, a policeman was suspend on charges of harassing a college girl in western Gopalganj, reports said in Dhaka on Tuesday.

A police headquarters spokesman said constable Abdul Qaiyum was put under suspension and ordered to report to the police line on Monday after a second-year female student of Bangabandhu University College complained that Qaiyum harassed her with an indecent wink near the college gate.

"Investigations are underway to take further action against him," the spokesman said.

Newspaper reports said Sonya's complaint infuriated fellow college students who assaulted the constable before handing him over to the Police.

The incident was reported a month after the High Court issued a landmark judgment defining "sexual harassment" and identifying 11 acts as sexual offences saying it was expected to prevent growing sex crimes in workplaces, educational institutions and other public places.

According to the verdict any kind of provocation through phone calls or e-mail, lewd gestures, showing of pornography, lurid stares, physical contact or molestation, stalking, vulgar sounds or any display of a derogatory nature will be tantamount to sexual misdemeanour.

Disturbing women and children through letters, e-mails, SMS, posters, writings on walls, benches, chairs, tables, notice boards and threatening or pressing them to make sexual relations are sexual harassment and torture, the lawyers said quoting the judgement.

As the issue of sex remained a taboo in this Muslim majority Bangladesh, women often feel helpless and ashamed to speak out if they are harassed while there was no specific law to punish the offenders for sexual harassment though a law suggests capital punishment for rape.