01/13/2010, 00.00
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Dhaka: for the first time in 150 years, a Hindu woman is appointed district judge

by William Gomes
Krishna Debnath is the daughter of a judge and law professor at Rajshahi University. She is grateful for the opportunity “to serve the nation” and work for “peace and justice”. The event is signal of openness in a Muslim country where women and members of religious minorities have been victims of violence.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – For the first time in 150 years, a Hindu woman was appointed to the post of judge at the Dhaka District Court in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim nation. On Monday, Krishna Debnath, a member of an administrative tribunal, began her mandate after the Law Ministry made her appointment public earlier that day.

A Hindu, Krishna Debnath is the daughter of Dinesh Chandra Debnath, who was also a judge as well as a law professor at Rajshahi University. She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to “serve the nation” and “work for justice and peace.”

“It is an honour to be given an opportunity to become part of [the country’s] history,” she said.

The new district judge mentioned her father, who was the one who passed onto her a passion for the law.

At present, she is the president of the Bangladesh Women Judges Association and the Bangladesh Judicial Services Association.

The appointment of woman from a religious minority is a positive signal in a country where members of both groups are often victims of violence and abuse that usually go unpunished.

Over the years, AsiaNews has reported a number of cases about young women being raped, about women and girls disfigured with acid, victims of family feuds, marginalised because they convert to Christianity and are repudiated by their family.

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