A 35-year-old woman was ruthlessly beaten up over a land-related dispute after the attackers tied her to a tree in Koyra upazila of Khulna on 11 July.
The victim, Shamima Nasrin of Gilabari village, suffered severe injuries in the assault and is currently undergoing treatment at Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH).
"There has been a long-running dispute with my uncles over a piece of ancestral property. My uncles made several attempts to forcefully occupy my father's land before. A case has been pending for three years with a Khulna court over this matter," she told The Business Standard on Friday morning.
"In a bid to seize the property, they are now trying to build a house on the land. Being helpless, we lodged a complaint at the police station on the day of Eid-ul-Azha. Later on that day, I left my husband's house and went to my father's house which is located in the same village."
"The next morning (11 July), a group of 20-30 men including my uncle and cousins stormed the house and tried to beat up my father Abdul Gaffar Gazi and brother Jamshed Hossain. In an effort to save them, I locked my father and brother in a room. That's when they started assaulting me," Shamima said.
"My cousins – Saiful, Shoaib, Salah Uddin and Firoz – grabbed me from my house and took me to the street. As they started hitting me from all directions, my clothes came off. They then tied me to a mahogany tree on the side of the road and continued to thrash me till I became unconscious," the victim said, adding that the attackers also bit the sensitive parts of her body.
Rastum Ghazi, the brother-in-law of the victim, said that the assaulters tried to build a house on the land by tying Shamima to the tree.
Shahnewaz Shikari, chairman of the Maheshwaripur Union Parishad, said, "The two parties have been fighting for a long time over the land issue. The matter has been arbitrated several times, but no solution was found."
"I was not there at the time of the incident. But I informed the police upon receiving the news," the UP chairman added.
Koyra police station Inspector (investigation) Md Ibrahim Ali said, "A police team went to the spot after receiving a 999-emergency call and rescued the victim. She was then taken to the hospital.
"The victims and her relatives have been asked to come to the police station and lodge a complaint. Legal action will be taken after receiving an official complaint."