Dhaka: In an incident of hate crime in Bangladesh, Lata Samaddar, a female teacher of Tejgaon College in Dhaka was reportedly harassed in broad daylight by a policeman for wearing a traditional bindi on her forehead. According to reports, the policeman hurled abuses at her after seeing a bindi on her forehead.
When the teacher protested, the policeman tried to run her over with his motorbike, causing her to fall and sustain injuries. Biplob Kumar Sarkar, the deputy commissioner said that the constable identified as Nazmul Tareque has been taken into custody. Bangladeshi author Tasleema Nasreen took to Twitter to condemn the incident.
News of the incident spread quickly on social media, drawing a severe backlash. Members of various women’s rights organisations took to the streets to protest against the despicable act. Extending their solidarity with Lata. Parliamentarian and social activist Aroma Dutta termed the unfortunate incident as more than harassment. “It is preventing people from practising their own culture as women have worn Bindi and jewellery for thousands of years in this country. Such incidents are not expected in a secular state like Bangladesh,” said Aroma. She, however, added that the incident reflected an individual’s mindset rather than the mindset of Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies in general.
According to Lata, a number of people were watching the incident but chose not to intervene. Because the man was wearing a police uniform, they may have kept a safe distance from any unwanted attention, stated the teacher.