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Three Women Raped Daily In Bangladesh In 9 Months

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975 women have been raped in the last nine months in Bangladesh in a sharp spurt in gender crime, undermining the values of the 1971 war of independence waged against Pakistan’s brutal army infamous for mass rapes of Bengali women.

” Like in neighbouring India,this sharp upward curve of rapes in Bangladesh seems  correlated to rising religious fundamentalism and political cynicism,  when men in power feeling threatened by educated and assertive women tend to justify rather than oppose rapes as a way of teaching the fair sex a lesson,” said India’s leading gender scholar Paula Banerjee.

Paula Banerjee

Banerjee says Awami League’s growing proximity to Islamist groups like Hefazet , whose chief publicly opposes women education and compares women to tamarind , is so unfortunate.

” Just when we observe Bangabandhu centenary and prepare to celebrate golden jubilee of our independence from Pakistan, the culture of rape upheld by Pakistani army seems to have afflicted our men. This goes against two centuries of gender empowerment in Bangali society,” said Bangladesh gender activist and trade unionist Lovely Yesmin.

Lovely Yesmin leads a protest rally of Bangladesh garment workers

She said the women affairs ministry should play a greater role in combating the culture of impunity perpetuated by rapists , mostly politically or economically powerful men.

” This ministry should have a voice which should be raised without fear or favour when it comes to rapists, regardless of which party they belong to ” Yesmin told Easternlink.

Awami Mohila League leader in Comilla Ayesha Shimu said the ruling party and government should adopt without delay  ‘a strong visible role ‘ in tracking and punishing the rapists , even if they belong to ruling party.

Awami League leader Ayesha Shimu

“This is crucial for our image , the image of our party which led the fight against the Pakistani army which practised the culture of rape to suppress the Bangali freedom struggle ,” said Shimu.

” None should forget more than half our population is women and this growing culture of rape is impacting adversely on our image,  both country’s and party’s, “she told Easternlink.

Many in Awami League have pitched for a strong and vocal woman affairs Minister,  saying someone like lawyer-actress-gender activist Tarana Halim should be put in charge rather than someone whose silence in unnerving.

Halim is in news for masterminding a controversial play ‘ Indemnity’ exposing Pakistan’s and Ziaur Rahman’s role in Bangabandhu assassination. 

When contacted to comment on the spurt in rapes in Bangladesh,  Halim , a rare combination of passionate activism and intellect,  said : ” Be it their rape culture or gender oppression or religious fundamentalism, there is no reason Bangladesh should ape Pakistan , which is a failed state. We have left them far behind in all human development indices, so we should weed out ruthlessly all Pakistani influence in our society rather than befriend them.” 

This came at a time when  Halim , a minister in Hasina government until 2019, is hitting the streets to defend her play ‘Indemnity’ and carry on her anti-Pakistani political pitch .

The victim will file a rape case with the court.

The victim (35) of the gang-rape in Noakhali was previously raped multiple times at gunpoint by the prime accused Delwar Hossain, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) found after visiting the woman on Monday.

“Whenever the woman protested or refused, she was threatened with gang-rape by his whole team of ‘Delwar Bahini’,” said Al Mahmud Faizul Kabir, the director of investigation at NHRC.

According to Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a rights body, 975 women were raped, including 208 subjected to gang-rape, from January to September 30 this year. Of them, 45 were killed after rape and 12 others killed themselves.

Besides, it said, 161 women were subjected to sexual harassment and 12 of them took their own lives during the period.

ASK also said three women and nine men were killed for protesting the incidents of sexual harassment.Besides, 627 children were raped and 20 boys were molested while 21 women fell victims to acid attacks.

Former Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra Sheepa Hafiza said to IANS on Wednesday morning, “Rape, sexual harassment and violence against women are gradually increasing mainly for the culture of impunity and the state’s apathy to control it.”

She said the number of such acts has increased as the offenders have got an impression that they will go unpunished.

“I think the state is not considering the rape and sexual harassment as a serious crime. Politicians are not still saying they’re ashamed of such brutality and not assuring the victims of justice. The rapists are not properly punished by the 150-yer-old law,” Sheepa observed.

To address such social menace, she said, the law must be amended and make it a time-befitting one and enforce it properly.

Sheepa Hafiza said police should change their attitude towards the victims of any rape and sexual harassment, and a women-friendly atmosphere needs to be ensured at police stations.

“Whenever a victim of rape and sexual harassment goes to the police, she is harassed again through various indecent gestures and unwarranted questions. So, many victims don’t get encouraged to go to the police and to seek legal action,” she pointed out.

The human rights activists said political parties always try to avoid their responsibility by expelling rapists from their parties and branding them as infiltrators.

NHRC representative said to IANS, Notorious Delwar not only sexually abused the victim over the year, but also felt that they were entitled to her body, as if she was property.

Officer-in-Charge Begumganj Model Police Station Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said he was not aware that the victim has been repeatedly raped by the accused. “She did not tell me, nor did she tell the magistrate on Monday, after the video footage went viral. I only learnt of this when NHRC told me,” he said.

“Delwar had a gun on him, which is illegal. There are two existing murder charges against him. He will be transferred to Shiddhirganj police station for further interrogation, while his accomplice Badal will be sent to Begumganj Police Station,” said RAB-11 commanding officer Saiful Alam.

Rapid Action Batallion(RAB) -11 officials told that upon interrogating the accused rapists, they found that the video was released through social media because the victim refused for sex.

Meaanwhile, more than 24 hours after the High Court instructed Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to ensure that the video is taken down from websites and social media, the video is still available through a simple search.

BTRC Director General of Systems and Services Division Brigadier General Md Mustafa Kamal said they are actively taking down links as they see them, but more keep cropping up.

“We identified 17 links and reported them to authorities and we are still actively on the lookout for more. If anyone finds any link with the video and refers the link to us, we will take action,” he said.

Among others sharing the video, social media vloggers and online portals actively continued to include the video in their own video content in a misguided approach to raise awareness about rape. Some blurred out the entire video, some blurred out the victim’s body, but kept the face unblurred, some trimmed the video to only keep certain sections and others zoomed out the video to make it less visible — but none of that alters the reality that it is a video of a violent rape.

As the video continues to crop up faster than it can be taken down, the survivor hides to protect herself and her family.

Not only is the survivor hiding away from her village, but so is her family members .Her father use to run a tea-store in the area, and that too has its shutters down.

Another housewife raped in Sylhet, Sramik League leader held

A leader of Jatiya Sramik League and another man was arrested early Monday for allegedly raping a housewife in Shamimabad area of Sylhet city.

The arrestees were identified as Dilowar, 40, and Harun Mia, 35, alias Chakku Harun.

Sub-Inspector Rezaul Karim of Kotwali Police Station said Dilowar and his two accomplices went to the victim’s house on Sunday and raped her.The victim filed a case with Kotwali police on Monday morning.

Rape has become a burning issue as frequent incidents of rape and gang rapes shook the country in recent times. In many cases, people affiliated with the ruling party were alleged to be the perpetrators.

Officer-in-Charge Begumganj Model Police Station Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said he was not aware that the victim has been repeatedly raped by the accused. “She did not tell me, nor did she tell the magistrate on Monday, after the video footage went viral. I only learnt of this when NHRC told me,” he said.

“Delwar had a gun on him, which is illegal. There are two existing murder charges against him. He will be transferred to Shiddhirganj police station for further interrogation, while his accomplice Badal will be sent to Begumganj Police Station,” said RAB-11 commanding officer Saiful Alam.

Rapid Action Batallion(RAB) -11 officials told that upon interrogating the accused rapists, they found that the video was released through social media because the victim refused for sex.

Meaanwhile, more than 24 hours after the High Court instructed Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to ensure that the video is taken down from websites and social media, the video is still available through a simple search.

BTRC Director General of Systems and Services Division Brigadier General Md Mustafa Kamal said they are actively taking down links as they see them, but more keep cropping up.

“We identified 17 links and reported them to authorities and we are still actively on the lookout for more. If anyone finds any link with the video and refers the link to us, we will take action,” he said.

Among others sharing the video, social media vloggers and online portals actively continued to include the video in their own video content in a misguided approach to raise awareness about rape. Some blurred out the entire video, some blurred out the victim’s body, but kept the face unblurred, some trimmed the video to only keep certain sections and others zoomed out the video to make it less visible — but none of that alters the reality that it is a video of a violent rape.

As the video continues to crop up faster than it can be taken down, the survivor hides to protect herself and her family.

Not only is the survivor hiding away from her village, but so is her family members .Her father use to run a tea-store in the area, and that too has its shutters down.

Another housewife raped in Sylhet, Sramik League leader held

A leader of Jatiya Sramik League and another man was arrested early Monday for allegedly raping a housewife in Shamimabad area of Sylhet city.

The arrestees were identified as Dilowar, 40, and Harun Mia, 35, alias Chakku Harun.

Sub-Inspector Rezaul Karim of Kotwali Police Station said Dilowar and his two accomplices went to the victim’s house on Sunday and raped her.The victim filed a case with Kotwali police on Monday morning.

Rape has become a burning issue as frequent incidents of rape and gang rapes shook the country in recent times. In many cases, people affiliated with the ruling party were alleged to be the perpetrators.

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