Culture of impunity blamed for increase in child rape in Bangladesh

39 children raped in 15 days in April, 164 others between January and March

Rashad Ahamad | Published: 00:26, Apr 20,2019 | Updated: 00:27, Apr 20,2019


Prevailing culture of impunity, social attitude towards girls and women and indifference of government agencies are the main causes behind the increasing rate of rape and other forms of sexual violence in the country, said rights activists.
According to a press statement issued by Rights organisation Manusher Jonno Foundation, at least 47 children were sexually abused in last 15 days since April 2. Of them, 39 were raped during the period. Five children were killed, it said, while, according to Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, 18 women and children were raped on a single day on last Wednesday.
Rights activists urged the government to ensure justice and appealed to the people to boycott rapists to stop sexual violation of children and women.
Manusher Jonno Foundation executive director Shaheen Anam expressed grave concerns over the increasing number of child rape and other forms of violations across the country.
She said that the culture of impunity resulted in an increase in the number of incident of violation against women and children.
In the last three months since January, at least 164 children were raped, of them 12 were killed after rape, said child rights organisation Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum.
Its statistics shows that at least 19 of them were raped in gangs while eight others were victims of attempted rape and 27 faced different types of sexual harassment.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad general secretary Maleka Banu said that the real number of rape and other sexual violations much be higher than the published statistics as many people tend to hide the incidents fearing social stigma.
She told New Age that besides the culture of impunity, political shelter, negative attitude towards women and girls and lack of government’s attention to curb the repeated incidents of rape are responsible for the declining situation.
She urged the commoners to ‘boycott rapists’ while asked the government to ensure justice for all rape victims.
She further said that more girls were falling victims to sexual violence in recent times as overall security of women waned alarmingly.
She said women were not safe in schools, working places and even at homes as 18 women and children were raped in a single day on Wednesday across the country.
16-year-old auto-rickshaw driver Johirul Islam was arrested from Shantinagar in Dhaka on Wednesday for allegedly raping a fourteen-year-old girl at Bera in Pabna.
Rapid Action Battalion arrested him as the victim’s mother filed a case alleging that Johurul and his associate Al Amin, 24, raped her daughter at an orchard on Sunday when she was returning home from her sister’s house in Aminpur area.
In Jhenaidah, Al Hera Government Primary School headmaster Abdus Salam was arrested on the same day on charges of sexually harassing three girls of the school.
In Sirajganj, a young man was arrested on Sunday night for allegedly trying to rape a six-year-old child at Paikosha village of Sirajganj Sadar.
Victim’s father said Hasem Ali of their village, took his daughter and another child to a nearby abandoned room on Friday afternoon, luring them with chocolates before he tried to violate one of the girls.
However, on hearing the victim’s screams, locals rushed to rescue her while Hasem managed to flee the scene, he said.
In Naogaon, police arrested Sujon Hasda, 22, as he allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl from the ethnic minority community on April 14, after abducting her from Dhamoirhat upazila.
Officer-in-charge of Dhamoirhat police station Jakirul Islam said the victim went to visit a social forestation project on the bank of the River Atrai at Shimultali with her friends, when Sujon picked her up and took her to his house at Gopalpur village of Sapahar upazila.
In another incident, a 5th grader was raped by a 50-year-old man at Karimganj in Kishorganj on April 14.
In Bagerhat, a 7th grader was raped by a 52-year-old neighbour, Nizam Uddin, at Baruipara village of Sadar upazila on April 13.
Victim’s uncle filed a case with Sadar model police station on Sunday night accusing Nizam of rape and his wife and son of assaulting victim’s relatives.
Officer-in-charge of Sadar Model Police Station Md Mahtab Uddin said Nizam violated the girl when he found her alone at the house.
Nizam fled the scene when locals rushed to rescue the girl hearing her scream.
National Human Rights Commission chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said it was a cause for serious concern that such heinous crimes were on the rise. Rapes are clear signs of human rights violation.
He urged the government to take necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to book, so that criminals would take stock of the immediate consequences before indulging in such violent crimes.
‘Hercules’ cannot bring solution. We need to ensure rule of law. We need to establish justice, but, not by way of extrajudicial killing, he concluded.

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