At least 20 protesters from Dhaka have been injured as miscreants attacked them in Feni town when they have on the way to Noakhali on an anti-rape long march.
The incident took place at the Central Shaheed Minar area of Feni town around 11:30 am on Saturday morning.
At this time, miscreants came down on student protesters with sticks and other blunt weapons causing the rally participants to scatter.
One of the participants Abdullah Al Kafi Ratan, coordinator of the Left Front, said that we started our program at the central Shaheed Minar in Feni around 10 am. When we got on the bus for Begumganj at the end of the program at around 11:30 pm, groups of Chhatra League and Juba League men, suddenly attacked us. The police also joined them in the attack.
Contacted, Feni Model police station OC Alamgir Hossain said that the police immediately chased the attackers away.
Earlier, the protesters took part in a meeting held on Shaheed Minar premises in Feni.
Around 400 demonstrators started their long-march program from Dhaka to Noakhali’s Begumganj Upazila on Friday.
The protesters including left-leaning parties, students, youths and rights activists, started their long march under the banner of "Dhorshon O Bicharhinotar Biruddhe Bangladesh" (Bangladesh against rape and impunity) to press home nine-point demand.
They marched towards Noakhali shouting anti-rape slogans.
Their demands include ensuring exemplary punishment of the perpetrators involved in rape and violence against women, the resignation of the home minister and an end to repression of women.
Protests against rape and violence against women erupted across the country since the beginning of October, following the recent incidents of gang rape in Sylhet's MC College and in Noakhali's Begumganj Upazila.
In the wake of widespread protests against the growing incidents of rape, the President has promulgated an ordinance allowing the death penalty as the highest punishment for the crime instead of life imprisonment.
The ordinance was issued following waves of anti-rape demonstrations across Bangladesh after video footage of five men gang-raping a housewife, stripping her naked and filming the video of the incident in Noakhali’s Begumganj Upazila, went viral on social media.