The Women & Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 of Bangladesh

Introduction

Following the rising violence against women, especially rape incidents throughout the country, the protection of woman and child has become the centre point of discussion. As these incidents seem to be irresistible, curbing the violence against women has become a challenge for us.

Presently there is no doubt that people committing crimes against women and children must be punished to ensure justice. On the other hand, it is also necessary to protect innocent victims of malicious prosecution. However there exists a common trend in Bangladesh to use the public emotion and opinion on these issues. As a result, there is a very high chance of using the laws regarding women and child protection in favour of someone’s vindictive purpose.

The Bangladesh Women & Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 (Nari-O-Shishu Nirjaton Daman Ain) (the “Act”) is a specialized law that passed into law and came in force on 17 July 1995. This law mainly deals with the violence’s against women and children.

This Act contains stringent provisions for prevention of offences related to oppression on women and children. Trafficking and kidnaping of children and woman, rape, death resulting from rape and dower, sexual harassment etc. are dealt with under this legislation. According to Section 250 of the Code the Criminal Procedure, Section 211 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure and Section 17 of the Act the complainant shall be given protection throughout the whole procedure .The Act was introduced with great expectation to reduce and remove the violence against women and children.

The Procedure in brief

Section 19 of this Act renders all the offences punishable under this Act as ‘cognisable’. According to Sec.4 (1) (f) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a ‘cognisable offence’ is one for which a police officer may arrest someone without any warrant. Therefore, a person accused under the Act may be arrested immediately. However, the police will only arrest such a person if, he (the accused) has been concerned in any cognisable offence or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made or credible information has been received or a reasonable suspicion exists of his been so concerned. In most of the cases, therefore, police may arrest the person against whom any complaint has been made for committing any offence under the Act. It may be prudent to mention that in certain circumstances, a private person may also arrest any person if that private person believes that the other person has committed a non-bailable and cognisable offence. But, in such cases the arrestee must be handed over to the police without any unnecessary delay.

The provisions in relation to investigation are contained in the S. 18 of the Act. According to S. 18 (1)(a), investigation into the offences shall have to be concluded within fifteen working days from the date of the arrest of the accused or handing over of the accused to the police while caught red handed at the time of commissioning of the offence. Alternatively, S. 18(1) (b) provides for the investigation to be completed within sixty working days where the accused is not caught red handed but in consequence of the lodging of First Information Report (FIR) or following order of investigation by the authorized officer or the Tribunal. The time limit may be extended subject to the fulfilment of conditions contained in the subsequent sections. So, from the aforesaid provisions it seems that investigation of any Complaint regarding oppressive behaviour against women and children does not depend on arrest of the accused person.

Law requires every case to be investigated followed by the Police Report to be submitted to the Court. In the meantime since the offence in question is an arrestable (cognisable) one, the law-enforcing agency is in duty bound to arrest the accused person pending the outcome of the investigation as per Law. After the accused is arrested, he may pray before the Tribunal under sec. 19 to enlarge him on bail. Furthermore, to avoid the arrest, the accused may try to get anticipatory bail from the Hon’ble High Court Division under section 498 of the CrPC.

Since the provisions under the Act are considerably harsh against the accused, to protect malicious prosecution, section 17 provides for rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years and fine in case if someone lodges a false complain or files a false case with intent to cause harm to other person.

The rights that a person may possess in relation to arrest are contained between sections 46-67 of the CrPC. Some of the important rights may be as follows:

  1. The person arrested to be taken before Magistrate or officer in charge of police station without unnecessary delay.
  2. The arrestee cannot be detained for more than twenty-four hours.
  3. The police have to follow the rules regarding search of the arrestee and seizure of any material.

Abuse of the Act

The abuse of this law has a very adverse impact on our legal system. Innocent people are suffering for this law. At the same time, it is facilitating further malpractices in the legal system. It has caused loss of substantial resources of the state and society as good amounts of working hours are spent by the complainants or informants, police, jail personnel, lawyers, judges and the support personnel and staff of the courts. Friends and relatives of the accused, victims and witnesses and their associated costs and expenditures are also factors to consider regarding misuse of resources.

Thousands of innocent persons have been jailed for many months, including scores of older men, women and children. Even organizations working for women’s rights acknowledge that, plaintiffs who are aggrieved with minor conjugal issues misuse this law. Ultimately, this situation deprives everyone from the possibilities of remedies. Women often file false graver allegations against their husbands or convinced by their lawyers to do so although the conjugal issues may not be that much serious. If proved guilty, that innocent husband receives conviction; but if proved innocent, the aggrieved women lose the chances of reconciliation.

 

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TRAVELLING WITH AN INFANT – SOLO!!

The night before I embarked on a 14 hour journey with my 6 month old, I did not sleep a wink. I stayed awake preparing and over preparing. What would I need? What would she need? What do you give a 6 month old if they are bored? Will she throw up? What happens if she doesn’t throw up? How much formula should I take? How much sterilised water should I take? Questions! Questions! Questions! But no answers. No answers until I had actually made the 14 hour journey with my 6 month old.

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As it turns out, I actually did not need half the stuff I carried with me. And funnier still, Maheera was less of a bother than all the bags and equipment I had to hand carry. Kingsford Airport staff were absolutely wonderful. Mothers with babies were treated like royalty! Everyone helped! Even a fellow male passenger whom I reminded him of the first time he traveled with this wife and three kids. “What a mess it was!” he exclaimed as he helped me load off the stroller from the security belt. Indeed, it was a mess! Taking all liquid out and putting it all back in. All mothers are extremely protective of the baby bag. Not because it contains my baby’s food but because it is organised to my liking and disarraying that organization would mean you just got on my last nerve!

Changi Airport was not so welcoming to mothers with infants. First of all, unless you had access to luxury lounges, there were no proper parents’ room. All toilets were absolutely spotless but most were fitted with a plastic change tables. Airport staff were not very friendly either. At the security post before the waiting lounge, security officers expected me to carry Maheera, collapse the stroller, place it on the belt, place all bags on the belt as well as take out my laptop and then rebuild the whole thing at the other end of the scanning machine. I asked them one question, “How do I do this with one hand? I need help.” Help did eventually come but these little things are so stressful for a mother travelling alone.

IMG_7351.JPGWhilst I was absolutely relived when I saw my mother’s face at the end of the journey, I do confess that I did learn a lot and it was an experience altogether. Maheera made no fuss at all. She ate when hungry, slept with sleepy. She only whined at the end of the Sydney to Singapore 7 hour leg because she was confined to that tiny space for such a long time. Luckily for me, I got empty seats on both legs of the journey. So I set up shop and had a ball of a time. I was even able to fit in 3 movies!

Here are some tips I think that might be useful if you are travelling with an infant:

  1. Invest in a lightweight stroller.

We purchased the Bebe Mira Lite stroller from David Jones. It was reasonably priced, light-weighed and easily collapsible with one hand and one foot. It had 3 inclinations so I could even lay Maheera asleep while I was in transit. The seating is soft and easily wipe-able. I added a pram liner to give the stroller some colour and provide more cushioning for Maheera. It did not have a good basket so I ended up carrying most of my things.

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A lot of mothers opt to wear their baby. This is OK if you are travelling with another adult or your spouse. I looked into the option of using a baby carrier but I realized – baby bag plus my carry-ons plus my bag plus carrying a 9kg baby would do tremendous harm to my back bone. I needed to off-load and pushing heavy weight would be much easier. Of course, Maheera could not stand or sit and carrying her did sound lucrative. However, I could not risk further damage to my back-bone. Fell off a horse and went through pregnancy and labour – that’s enough for me in this life time, thank you!

  1. Infants DO NOT do solids on trips

Maheera refused any form of solid food I gave her. She took 2 spoonfuls of khichri and then began fussing. Of course, it would have been wrong for me to expect her to eat solid food. Most 6 month olds just begin eating solid foods at that age and Maheera was (and I don’t think) will ever be a fantastic eater. So milk it was. Milk and rice (Cerelac) mixed with warm water. Every 3 hours like clockwork. She was sustained on milk, rice cereal and water the entire journey and she seemed quite content with that. I did not force feed for fear she might throw up and that would have been quite embarrassing!

  1. Ear pressure during take-off and landing

I am of the strong opinion that most modern aircrafts are able to balance air pressure in the cabin reducing pressure on your ears. A child’s ear is a thousand times more sensitive to an adults so of course it will hurt more. Some mothers let babies suck on a pacifier. I let Maheera suck on her water bottle. The water hydrated her and her constant chewing on the teat stabilised the pressure on her ears.

However, when we landed at Changi Airport and when we took-off and landed on the Bangladesh trip, Maheera was absolutely fine. No crying because of the air pressure. I did not even have to give her the bottle.

  1. Dress your infant down
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“Where are we going Mummy?”

You and most importantly, your baby need to be as comfortable as possible. Time will come for you to dress your baby up again but for now, your baby needs to be as relaxed as possibly. Maheera wore no massive headbands or sparkly shoes or pretty frocks. Just plain cotton t-shirts and slacks from Target. Rompers are a good option. One piece of clothing. Easy to wear and easy to remove. Airports and planes and usually quite cold so I kept her in full sleeves and full-length pants throughout the journey.

  1. Carry your baby’s pillow and blanket

This is probably the best thing I did and I patted myself on the back repeatedly for doing this. I carried Maheera’s pillow and her original newborn cotton wraps which I use as light blankets now. One to put inside the bassinet and one to use as a blanket. In that way I could trick Maheera into thinking she was in her crib at home. The smell and feeling of her own things might help her sleep a little longer and give her a good sound sleep.

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AAAAhhhhh…..my pillow….

  1. Keep your baby fresh, clean and moisturised
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“BOOOOYAAAAA!!!!!”

Give your baby a wipe with a damp cloth once in a while. This keeps them fresh and clean. I changed Maheera’s clothes and diapers even when I did not need to. That way I ensured she felt fresh. I gave her a good wipe all over and applied moisturizer when possible. It is the only alternative to giving them a bath.

  1. Keep an infant nasal spray, infant Nurofen and gripe water handy in your travel baby bag

Babies often get stuffed nose or a headache during journeys. It is absolutely essential that they not experience any form of discomfort.

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Aside from the above, there is of course the usual tips:

  1. Carry sufficient diapers
  2. Carry extra clothing for your baby and YOU – of course YOU! What happens if that baby decides to show everyone the contents of his or her stomach and most of it is on your clothes?
  3. Talk to cabin crew. Do not be afraid to ask them any questions you may have about using infant belts and bassinets. What would happen if you needed to use the loo and your baby is asleep? Get them to do things for you. Heat water for your baby. Get you a snack. Anything! Hello, airlines tickets are not exactly inexpensive! Singapore Airlines crew were simply marvelous and extremely helpful.
  4. Take a few toys and don’t give them all at once to your baby. Babies get bored very easily. Distract them with everything around and give them their toys at long intervals. Maheera was more entertained by different faces around her than her toys.

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Flying with children, toddlers and infants is definitely not easy. Actually, flying with some adults is not easy too! But it is important to keep yourself as organised as possible! If you are travelling with your spouse or another adult, it is definitely much easier because the stress is equally divided. But if you are travelling by yourself, keep organised and prioritise! Remember, do not compromise with your baby’s comfort. A happy baby is of utmost importance for a stress-free journey.

  • Keep your passports and travel documents in a safe but easily accessible place
  • Fill out immigration and customs form as early as possible and preferably when your baby is asleep
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Take a drink of water when possible. Also, keep Panadol and nasal spray with you.
  • Take a Kindle. More often than not, you might not get the chance to read. But if you are in transit and that baby has fallen asleep (by the grace and mercy of God!), get away from it all for a bit. Get your mind into some good fiction and come out rejuvenated!

I wish all travelling parents the very best of luck with all your travels. I hope my post has been helpful and has provided some insight into travelling with babies. No doubt, the longer the journey, the more impatient you and your child will get. But keep your cool. Take the time to refresh yourself as often as possible.

Happy travelling!!!

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Our Image

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Let us fall asleep together

And meet in our dreams

Where we lay upon green grass

And watch the clouds play hide and seek

 

Let us make a wish together

For a future that is unseen

For a path to a destiny

A destiny of our being

 

Let us bind this love we share

To create one powerful heart

A heart that holds the key

A key that opens our thrust

 

Let us make a simple promise

But never swear, as swearing is for liars

To reflect in our eyes an image

An image of you and I in love.

 

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Sibat-e-Mubeen

ALL I WANT IS SOME SLEEP!!! (Sleep in the third trimester)

Tips on how to sleep better during your third trimester:

  1. Nothing,
  2. Go back and read no. 1.

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That’s how it is, lovely mums-to-be. No sleep at all during those last 12 weeks. You will spend your nights with your eyes closed but you will hear everything around you. You will even hear people breathing in the other rooms. If you have a pet, you will even hear it sleeping soundly pregnant-woman-and-catthroughout the night. These will be the most frustrating nights of your life – especially if you are working and all you want to do is come home and sleep like there is no tomorrow.

I remember those days when once every few weeks I had a 12 hour sleep marathon. This happened when I had been aggregating all my sleepless hours. I would crash into bed one day and wake up 12 hours later and it would feel as though I had been reset. Well, I can only dream of this and my 12 hour sleep marathon will be a distant memory once my bubby arrives.

I have read numerous forums on sleep deprivation during your third trimester and unfortunately they all say the same thing – you won’t be able to sleep. Yes. Good. I know that. But what tips can you provide? BabyCentre is a good website for new and confused mums-to-be to read. They provide a lot of insight to the new changes you will face during your gestation period. Also, you will find a lot of mums sharing their varied experiences. It’s a good read if you have a question at a strange hour and you need an answer RIGHT NOW!

Coming back to the issue at hand, none of these forums give you any collaborative tips on what to do to help you sleep better. Tips I have read are very basic such as drinking a warm glass of milk before bed time, exercise and prescription medications (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/pregnancy-insomnia). However, these avenues are very individual. They may or may not work. I, for one, am not comfortable taking medication to sleep. My GP recommended Blackmores’ Valerian earlier on in my pregnancy. It is an herbal sleep support medication. However, it did not do me much good. Even though the website says that it’s not recommended for pregnant women, when I consulted with Mothersafe (a free telephone service for the women of NSW dealing with questions regarding medicine and much more) they said it was ok to take. Regardless, it did not do any justice to me. I was still hearing my fat cat Tabby snore through the night!

Young pretty woman dreaming.

BabyCentre has confirmed that third trimester sleep deprivation will not harm your baby (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a547418/sleep-in-the-third-trimester). At least that is one good news. And I know my bubby is not sleep deprived. Bubby kicks well and hard throughout the night and last night my husband felt it kick for the first time. I asked him to keep his hand on my bump and I let him feel the kick. Normally, I would tell him every time it kicked but he would not feel anything. Last night, after waiting patiently for 10 minutes, he felt a kicked and said “Oh my god, was that it?!” So ladies, let them tell you if they feel anything. Leading them to feeling a kick does not work.

Third trimester dilemmas do not just stop at sleep deprivation. It is combined with the constant need to relieve yourself throughout the night. Last night, I woke up four times to use the washroom. This completely disrupts the few winks of sleep I can manage to gather.

BabyCentre has a few interesting ideas. One which I found helpful was to completely empty your bladder when you use the washroom. You can do this by bending forward at the end of your wee to ensure that you have completely squished every ounce of wee from your bladder (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a547418/sleep-in-the-third-trimester#ixzz3jazpejpZ). This works but it also depends on how much you had to drink. One of their tips I was reluctant to follow was to reduce my fluid intake from later afternoon until bedtime. Keeping yourself hydrated during pregnancy is crucial. You need the extra water to ensure there is good blood flow for you and your baby. Plus, keeping yourself internally hydrated does miracles to your skin. We all want that “pregnancy glow” don’t we?

Pillows don’t help much either. When you are that big, you are just downright uncomfortable. Comfortable sleeping positions are a pipe-dream. Because unless your body and mind are allowing you to sleep, you can try all the positions and pillows in the world – you just won’t be able to sleep. Hence, I did not bother spending money on fancy pregnancy pillows. If you cannot sleep, you just cannot sleep.

240_F_78408398_NXl4XBgLlJySFy0zoVLYcjvqV3XgGBBTThis is why I went back to my initial advice. I look forward to something. A movie, a dish I want to cook, a new maternity top, guests and even payday! That way I do not look back on what I have missed out but instead I keep going because I have something to look forward to. Right now, my biggest event to look forward to is 7th September 2015! That’s when my super-mum is coming to my rescue! Hence I have decided to plan and decorate the guest room as much as I can.

As I said once, your first pregnancy feels like an experiment. You do the practical first before writing the hypothesis. Enjoy it while you can mums-to-be! And don’t worry, 20 years from the day you give birth, you can blame everything on the child!

Happy Pregnancy!

Dhaka’s best soup

Every time I visit Dhaka, I make it a point to try and visit my favourite restaurant – Cheng Pei. Yes, one of Dhaka’s oldest Chinese restaurants is my most favourite places to eat. The food is nothing to brag about at all, but this is the only restaurant where one can eat Bangladeshi style oriental cuisine, in its truest sense.

The entire restaurant culture in our country was rather an endearing matter. It did not just involve a couple spending the evening out because it was the end of a long stressful week. It was a real cause of celebration. It was the solidarity of family members including grandparents and uncles and aunts.

It was a family affair. It was an event where people took pride in what they wore and how they did their hair. Ladies would lay out their best silk sarees since morning and the men would press and starch their most prized shirts and pants. It was a celebration. It was a day to remember. It was the day that brought a lot of happiness and harmony to a family.

Sadly enough, this culture has fallen far behind our galloping generation.  Nevertheless, Cheng Pei and many such old-fashioned oriental restaurants will always be remembered in Dhaka. These restaurants continue to employ the stiffest of waiters with starched black and white uniforms and bow-ties. They continue to dim the restaurant lights and block out sun-light with thick velvet emerald-green curtains. Furnished with heavy wooden tables and chairs, they still serve the best Chinese or Thai cuisines cooked to an absolute Bangladeshi perfection.

My favourite is of course the Bangladeshi style Thai soup which I have recently learned to cook. Of course, unless you are sitting in a dimly lit room struggling to push your chair in and the sound of Dhaka traffic trying to pry its way through the city, it’s not going to taste the same. However, the people who live abroad and dearly miss our Chinese food, please help yourself to my most recent quest. Please remember that the measurements are only an approximation. Now, my mother has taught me to cook based on guesstimates. So I suggest you always start off with smaller proportions and keeping the taste in your mind, work your way along, tasting your soup often.

Happy cooking everyone!

Chicken broth:

3 cups of water

2 or 3 pieces of chicken – use bony pieces like the wing, rib-cage or neck bone

1.5 teaspoon garlic paste

1.5 teaspoon ginger paste

0.5 teaspoon salt

2 cups of water

Method – in a pot, pour in water and add the chicken and the ingredients. Boil at medium heat for 1 to 1.5 hours. Add warm water when needed.

Soup:

Remove the chicken pieces from the broth

Remove meat from bones and add to soup

Add shrimp (optional)

Add approx. 2 tablespoon vinegar

Add two-thirds cup of sweet chili Thai sauce

Add 1 tablespoon soya sauce

Add juice of half a lemon

Cook mixture for about 20 to 30 minutes – adding in any vegetables (optional -pepper, long beans, baby corn, carrots – but traditionally, this soup has no vegetables)

If you want your soup to be spicy – slice two chilies in half and throw it in now

Whisk an egg until is fluffy and light – Pour into soup while stirring.

Add lemon leaves and lemon grass

Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until lemon grass releases flavour and fragrance.

Mix 3 tablespoons of cornflour with cold water well and pour it in the soup while stirring to prevent clumping. This gives a thick pasty touch.

Serve with no smile while wearing black pants, white shirt and black bow-tie.

Do we really need to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

I am sitting here watching all my friends express their love for their better halves all over Facebook and I am wondering, do we really need to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Is it necessary for everyone to share one given day of the year with everyone else to express their love and to spend a considerable amount of money confirming that love? It is not that I do not take heed about other people’s affections towards their companions, I just would like to know, why are we so open about these feelings?

There was once an era when people would be too humble and reserved to show others that they are truly, madly and deeply in love. In fact I have never seen my parents or my elders express their love in front of us children. For generations, love was expressed through so many different ways. Our forefathers never needed 14th February to show the strength of their love.

So, what is it about the 14th of February that makes everyone turn into Romeos and Juliets? What is so special about this date in particular? Why cannot I express and celebrate my love on the 24th of August or 3rd     of June? Who are you (whoever created this concept) to give me a date for the celebration of my love? Why must I open my intimacy for the world to see?

Salman Khan, a famous Indian movie superstar, often says on television when asked about his love-life, that the love-life is HIS, his girl is HIS, why is everyone so worked up about it? I could not agree with him more. I do not need to show everyone that I love my mate. My mate can see that, and I know how much I love him. Is the virtue of our love diminishing every year that the 14th of February becomes a sort of renewal date?

I believe that the expression of love has become a show-business. It has become a competition; who can express their love better than whom? And it is a competition that will generate a lot of negativity in society. In certain ways, it can damage relations between people.

Women will begin to compare what their husbands or boyfriends did for them and what their friends’ companions did for them. The financially “fortunate” ones will be confident and proud of their husband or boyfriend. The financially “less fortunate” ones will be swimming in a pool of envy. Men will have to listen to this comparison from their women, and they would either be pressured to do more the following year or they will develop an unconscious hatred for those with whom they are being compared to.

To the Muslims, Valentine’s Day should not even be considered. When Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that Valentine’s Day was “not suitable” for Muslims, he was absolutely right. It is purely a pseudo-Christian celebration – not even truly Christian though they cleverly use a Christian saint’s name – to dupe innocent Christians to go on a shopping spree in his name. We Muslims should not observe it. It will lead to unaccountable spending and possibly immoral activities. Why, don’t you remember the famous Arabian couple Laila and Majnun? Their love story was legendary and iconic to everyone all over the world! They died for one another. Did they need a 14th of February?

I am not saying that we should not love one another, nor should stop expressing our love for our companions. If anything, our Prophet taught us to express our love – even by telling directly – if we love someone. I am not against love. In fact, I believe that love should be a given factor between any couple. I do not want to have to have kept reassuring my partner that I love him every year. It should be known to us and to our friends that we are happy with one another. What we do to celebrate this love is, frankly, none of anybody else’s business. And nobody has the right to tell me when I can celebrate this love.

Valentine’s Day is an annual commemoration that celebrates love and affection between intimate companions. Intimacy is a private and personal issue. I do not believe that it should be shared with the whole world.

It is just a date, my friends, with absolutely no substantial value. It was a date created from no historical or religious event. Please do not oblige one another to be lovers on this date. I will love my partner until I stop breathing and whenever I feel like celebrating my love, I will do it in a way that makes my partner happy. Not in a way set by Archie’s or Hallmark. Do not commercialise “love” or allow it to be a business. It is a very spiritual and personal subject upon which couples are making their lives ever since the birth of mankind.

Sheikh Sibat-e Mubeen