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Monday, October 19, 2015, Kartik 4, 1422 BS, Muharram 5, 1437 Hijr

Sheikh Russell's 51st Birth Anniv Observed
PM terms child abuse a crime against humanity
Staff Correspondent
Published :Monday, 19 October, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 43

Sheikh Russell's 51st Birth Anniv Observed
Terming 'child abuse' a crime against humanity Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reiterated that stern action will be taken if anyone is found involved in the repression or killing of children.
"I do not know how people can torture children! Whoever is found involved in torturing or killing children will be brought to justice," she warned at a discussion meeting organised by Sheikh Russell Jatiya Shishu Kishore Parisad in observance of the 51st birth anniversary of her youngest brother Sheikh Russel at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Russell, the youngest son of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was born on October 18 in 1964 at Dhanmondi House No 32 in the capital. He was killed along with his father and most other family members on August 15 in 1975 when he was a student of Class IV at University Laboratory School.
Sheikh Hasina, eldest sister of Russell said she wanted to build a Bangladesh where all children will live in a safe environment.
"Our government is working for ensuring a safe life and the opportunity to build a future in a congenial atmosphere for all the children of the country. None has to face the fate of Sheikh Russell," she said.
The Prime Minister urged all, including the children of the country, to put in their best efforts to stop child repression in the country.
"People have to remain vigilant so that none can commit such crime against humanity, whoever will do this kind of crime, will surely be brought to justice," she said.
Referring to the torture of children engaged in household work, Sheikh Hasina said, "I wonder how people can torture these children. Are they human beings? I simply cannot understand. Small boys and girls sent to various homes to work as domestic help are often subjected to physical torture."
Sheikh Hasina also asked the people to think about their own children before torturing other children. "Taking birth into a poor family is not a sin. All children have the basic rights to enjoy their childhood," she said.
Recalling Sheikh Russell's childhood, the Prime Minister said, "I have lost my brother Russell when he was of a tender age. So I wish safe life for every child and an atmosphere where they will be able to grow up properly," she said.
"The killers demonstrated their aberrant cruelty when they tore up the body of minor Russell with bullets. Now I try to find him out in the face of other children and think how he would look if he were alive," Sheikh Hasina said.
Recalling the August 15 massacre, the Prime Minister said the then government after the assassination had enacted a law blocking the trial of the killers.
Sheikh Hasina said returning to power 21 years after of the killing, she scrapped that black law and put the killers on trial. "We've handed down capital punishment to the killers and set an example that if anyone does the same crime in future he/she will also have to face the same fate," she said.
After giving a heart-rending speech to the audience the Prime Minister distributed prizes among the winners of different sports and cultural competitions on the occasion and later she along with other guests enjoyed a cultural programme staged by the members of the Parisad.
Founding President of the organization Raqibur Rahman was in the chair while advisers of the organisation Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury and Sirajul Islam Mollah and Secretary General Mahmudus Samad Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the function.
As a representative of the children, Parisad member Atiqa Saiyara also spoke.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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