Attacks on female development workers in Teknaf: Coalition of NGOs issue ultimatum
A network of 60 local and national NGOs operating in Cox's Bazar has condemned and protested against the assault on six workers including two women workers of an NGO, in Teknaf on Wednesday.
At a virtual press conference on Saturday, leaders of the Cox's Bazar CSO NGO Forum (CCNF) demanded proper action against those involved in the incident within the next seven days
Or else, they warned, no CCNF member in Teknaf's Hnila Union will implement any activities.
The CCNF also urged all other local, national, and international non-governmental organisations to support the decision.
Abu Murshed Chowdhury, co-chair of the CCNF and executive director of PHALS, moderated the press conference.
CCNF Member Secretary Jahangir Alam explained the incident to newsmen.
YPSA Executive Director Md Arifur Rahman, two female victims Ferdous Ara Rumee, joint director of COAST and Tahrima Afroz Tumpa, project manager of the same organisation also spoke on the occasion.
COAST Foundation's Executive Director, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, gave the closing remarks.
Jahangir Alam said that on February 2, six activists of an NGO called COAST Foundation were beaten and humiliated by terrorists led by a union council member in Hnila Jele para of Teknaf.
COAST has been implementing various programmes for the disadvantaged people of this area for a long time. The terrorists, led by Rezaul Karim, a member of Ward 5 of Hnila Union, attacked while the NGO workers were holding a courtyard meeting with the beneficiaries of a project to gather their views.
During the meeting, the NGO workers were verbally abused and asked to leave the area. NGO workers tried to persuade their work, but Karim ignored the requests and attacked them.
At one point, the terrorists randomly punched and kicked everyone. At their screams, people came to their rescue and sheltered them.
The injured NGO workers filed a case at Teknaf police station.
Ferdous Ara Rumee said the incident poses a serious threat to hundreds of women workers in Cox's Bazar.
Tahrima Afroz Tumpa said this kind of attack on women is unimaginably disgusting.
“I want justice for it”.
Arifur Rahman said, “We want a speedy legal remedy for this incident. I think it is a planned attack to disrupt the government's development activities for the common people of Teknaf-Ukhia as part of the Rohingya programme. Because NGOs are working for the poor as allies of the government”.
Abu Murshed Chowdhury said, “Hundreds of NGO workers in Cox's Bazar are working day and night to provide various services to the people. Such nasty attacks on them are unwelcome. This is not an attack on the staff of a single NGO, it is an attack on the entire NGO sector. We demand justice from the administration. If no action is taken within the next seven days, all CCNF member organisations will withdraw their activities from Hnila Union”.