• Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Beach resort or haunt of criminals?

ByJean A. Francis

Dec 26, 2021


OPINION






If Cox’s Bazar is the first tourist site in the country, it is also one of the most criminal districts. A must-see site like the Sunderbans is not intended for family visits, especially when there are children around. A trip to the world’s largest mangroves feels more like an adventure and therefore is not always suitable for families with younger members. Cox’s Bazar therefore remains at the top of the list of family visits.

With better road communication and ease of air transport, Cox’s Bazar is the most visited tourist site in the country. But now a most troubling question is stirring people’s minds. A family of three — a couple and their eight-month-old child — like thousands of others, also wanted to have a happy time in the seaside town on Wednesday. It was beyond the couple’s wildest imaginations that their long-awaited ecstasy would turn into a nightmare for life.

Tourism is at its peak right now. People have gathered here in the thousands — far beyond the capacity of the tourist town. How can known criminals, including the gang leader involved in 17 cases in 10 years, roam free there and choose a wife and her husband on dagger-tipped separate three-wheelers? It is alleged that the couple and the baby were taken to the Kabita Chattar police station. The main accused was jailed for assault on November 7 in the beach area and released on bail on November 15. Now the police are trying to insinuate something unwanted by making an unsolicited statement that the accused and the victims knew each other. Why are the police taking such a stand in favor of an element involved in drug trafficking, the offer of sex workers and other similar notorious acts?

This cannot escape their responsibility to protect tourists from their predators. The way the incident happened is sufficient evidence that the police looked away. The victim’s husband struck the main culprit and a fight ensued. Who knows if the culprit did not strike the man on purpose! Regardless, the beach police were stationed there to intervene in any quarrels. They do not have.

What happened to the woman next does not need to be elaborated. She was raped twice by the pervert and his two associates — the last time in a hotel room. The management of the hotel apparently helped in the act. It’s pretty obvious that Cox’s Bazar is far from becoming a tourist spot. First, the beach police have not played their role. Second, the nearest police station asked the woman to fill out a general diary when she called the emergency number 999. It was the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) that came to her rescue and to that of her husband. The baby was with her husband, whom the gang held hostage in order to carry out their evil act.

Apart from the RAB, there was no one to help the couple. The worst could happen to them if the RAB does not come to their aid. Is this the sign of a welcoming seaside resort? It seems the city is encouraging criminals. The infamous OC Pradip showed just how monstrous men in uniform can be. To maintain their evil empire, these demons need the help of drug dealers and sex agents. The principal accused has all the qualities to become a criminal of the worst type that Pradip demands. If not, this criminal should have been put in jail forever.

The family has suffered the worst of trauma, and its negative impact on tourism is likely to be no less telling. Then, this is not the first case of sexual assault. A few years ago there was an attack on a foreign tourist at a tourist resort between Cox’s Bazar and Inani Beach dotted with separate huts. Fortunately, she was able to save her from the sexual predator. But such incidents have only put a frighteningly unsavory seal on the tourist site. It is a national disgrace. There is no compensation for the lost honor of the woman. But at least justice should be served to stop a recurrence of such acts in the future.

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