“Due to such eviction acts we are being compelled to scatter across the country and run our businesses on the streets, parks or by hiring apartments in different areas. Is this how the government thinks it is bringing welfare and morality to the society?” Joya asked.
She also mentioned that the recent attack on sex workers in Madaripur by activists of Islahe Qawmi Parishad was a violation of the High Court order.
On August 26 the court had extended their stay order for one year, which allows them to reside there. So the eviction was illegal, she said.
Madaripur Police Superintended Faridur Rahman admitted that activists of the Islamist group had carried the attack.
Day before yesterday, activists of Islahe went on a rampage on the 200-year-old brothel in Puranbazar, Madaripur. The brothel located at the heart of the town had around 800 houses 75% of which belonged to the sex workers either by inheritance or by purchasing. The attacks left around 500 sex workers shelter less.
“Such step by the so-called religious and moral people reveals their arrogance in the name of religion. It also shows ultimate disrespect towards judiciary and rule of law in the country. They are using morality and religion as a shield to gain their own purposes,” rights activists Khushi Kabir told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Every quarter such as law enforcers, businessmen and ruling party’s men have interest in our lands. They are interested to build commercial buildings on them,” Tara, leader of Puranbazar brothel, Madaripur said.
When asked about rehabilitation, the leaders of sex workers said there was no point of providing some shabby rehabilitation which ultimately drags them into worse situation than they are already in.
“Usually after evicting, the government hands over Tk10,000 and a swing machine to the sex workers in the name of rehabilitation under the social welfare department. The department does not even bother to know whether we can sew or not,” Joya said.