Human Rights Groups Accused Bangladeshi DGFI of Protecting Rapist Awami League Leader and Bank’s MD

Monira Sultana Popy, former assistant vice-president of the City Bank was at a press conference elaborating sexual assault case against bank's Managing Director and AL Leaders.

Monira Sultana Popy, former assistant vice-president of the bank, filed the case against the trio for harassing her physically and otherwise. She filed the case with Gulshan police station, reported Bangladeshi newspaper the Daily Sun.

Mashrur Arefin, the MD of the City Bank Limited, has been accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague and the victim was dismissed from a job for seeking justice.

Monira Sultana Poppy, the bank’s Vice President, and Senior Manager alleged this during a press conference at Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) in Segunbagicha of the capital on Saturday.

Earlier on August 18, Monira Sultana filed a case with Gulshan Police Station on this issue. Monira told in the conference that after the case, the City Bank authorities harassed her in different ways. 

Monira said that Mashrur Arefin, The Managing Director of City Bank, posted a harassing status against her from his Facebook ID on August 25 at 8:44 pm. Even he said, he had boosted those vulgar statuses on social media, she claimed.

She said for this she filed a GD against Mashrur Arefin with Bhatara Police Station on September 13.

Monira said, “I have been dismissed without paying for my nine years of service benefits and unpaid salary. Even I am being contacted by influential places to influence justice against me. In that situation, my family and I are suffering from insecurity.”

Later, when Popy gave an interview to Channel 71 about her experience, one member of parliament with links to her attacker telephoned the channel’s owner in a bid to stop the interview being broadcast. After the recent protests, Popy’s story was widely shared on social media. Soon after, officers from the Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Bureau (CTIB) of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) contacted some of those people who had shared her posts and threatened to take action against them if they did not remove them.

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“He [her City Bank boss] has influenced political leaders, police and courts [using his] money and power,” she says. He remains in his ivory tower while “I have lost my job” and been left “humiliated and utterly devastated”. This, she adds, is all made possible thanks to Bangladesh’s “system of corruption”.

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DGFI is widely regarded as the driving force behind military-backed regime and took power on January 11, 2007. It intimidated, arrested and arbitrarily detained hundreds of businessman, seniors party officials, academics and journalist and placed in illegal detention facilities in the cantonment in the capital city Dhaka. Many of them physically and mentally tortured and often forcefully signed confession of the victims to implicate them in crimes they never committed. Some businessmen were to forced to pay subtential and arbitrary sum of money to the state coffers or the DGFI accounts to escape imprisonment and secure their release.

City Bank has not responded to a request for comments to the allegations made by Popy, though it has previously denied claims that she was sexually harassed. A police investigation found that there was some evidences to support her claims, and the courts also have refused to take up the case with a view that government supported DGFI might retaliate against judges as they did in the past.

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