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Punishment to Serafina’s rapists demanded

→ Staff Correspondent
RAJSHAHI: Different orga­­ni­­sations in Rajshahi city and Godagari upazila on Wednesday demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment to the rapists who violated an indigenous girl.

Serafina Mardi, 14, who was raped on April 4 2010 (Ester Sunday), died on Sunday three days after she had set herself on fire at Amtulipara village in Godagari. Jatiya Adibashi Parishad, Jatiya Mohila Parishad, Jatiya Mohila Ainjibi Samity and Borendra Unnayan Forum jointly formed a human chain on Godagari upazila head-quarters demanding immediate arrest and punishment to the rapists of the indigenous girl.

Jatiya Adibashi Parishad central committee president Anil Marandi, general secretary Rabindranath Soren, Rajshahi city unit president Bimol Chandra Rajowar and Godagari upazila unit president Uttom Kumar, Borendra Unnayan Forum leader Ferdousi Chowdhury Putul, Jatiya Mohila Ainjibi Samity leader Dil Setara Chuni, among others, spoke the programme.

They also demanded punishment to the village arbitrators who forced the victim’s family to settle the issue in exchange of money.

After the human chain, the leaders of the organis-ations also submitted a memorandum to the Goda-gari UNO to meet their demands.

Later, they visited Serafina’s houses and talked to officials of Godagari police station and Adibashi leaders of the village.

Besides, Santal Students’ Union also formed a human chain at Shaheb Shaheb Bazar Zero Point in Rajshahi city to press home their five-point demands, including immediate arrest of the rapists and effective steps to stop torture on ethnic people.

Santal Students’ Union president Joshef Hasda, secretary Habil Mrandi and cultural secretary Emi Tudu spoke the programme.

Jakirul Islam, officer in charge of Godagari police station told daily sun that Serafina’s father Kornelews Mardi did not show any interest to lodge case with the police station in this regard.

Local sources said Serafina Mardi, a class-five student of Novera Surshuni Christian Missionary School, was violated by nine indigenous youths —Kallus Mardi, Nirmol Murmu, Julian Mardi, Jewel Mardi, Semon Hembrom, Simon Murmu, Porimol Soren, Ilias Murmu and Ranjan Mardi—on April 4 last year.

The victim lodged a complaint with Godagari police station, accusing the nine youths after the incident.

But the youths with help of local arbitrators managed her family to go for an out-of-court settlement over the issue in exchange of Tk 1.40 lakh.

With her hopes of justice dying out, Serafina set herself ablaze on February 17 to put an end to her ordeal.

She was admitted to the surgery ward of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital with burns all over her body. Three days later she succumbed to her injures.

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