Blogger, rape and refugee: a boat in Bangladesh part 2

Part 1

A Garo girl was gang-raped in Dhaka on her way back home from work a month ago. The incident reminded everyone of the brutal gang rape in Delhi few years back. Also this took place after April 14 incident where women were sexually assaulted during New Year’s celebration. Earlier this month, a female student was allegedly sexually assaulted at a school within Dhaka for which the Vice-principal was relieved of her duties.

The victim, a 22 year student, worked in sales in a mall near Kuril Bus Stand.

The victim told the police that five men forcibly hustled her into the microbus from Kuril Bus stand area of the city around 9:30pm. The ash-colored microbus stopped in front of her and two young men came down from the vehicle, and forced her to get into the bus. They raped her on the moving vehicle for about an hour and a half while the microbus slowly circled the Kuril Biswa Road several times before discarding her at Uttara’s Jashimuddin Road around 11pm.

A case was filed on Friday by the victim’s family after efforts of trying to file a case as two police stations turn them down stating jurisdictive limitation.

Violence against women, including latest police brutality in Bangladesh has caught much social media attention. Protesters on May 10 marched towards the police headquarter in a recent demonstration against sexual assault on New Year but were physically abused by Police injuring University students and activists. Anyone is yet to be arrested for New Year’s incident though police recently released CCTV footage for information regarding the offenders with rewards.

Now, a recent study has found that 82 percent of rape victims are under the age of 20 as I quote Daily Star,

Many of them minors. More than half of the victims were schoolgirls who were raped on their way to or from school. About twenty-two percent were sexually abused at home.

What is more alarming is that this research, based on The Daily Star news reports, reveals that around 80 percent of the rapists were known to the victims, neighbours or men who live in the same locality as the victims. It is therefore surprising that most of these perverts escape arrest and punishment. These findings allude to the fact, one that has been corroborated before by human rights organisations, that the arrest and conviction rates of rapists are very low.

Authorities’ in-activeness and exemption of crimes are encouraging the sex offenders to become ruthless. Long judiciary process, unwillingness to lodge a case and traditional society often discourage victims to step forward and bring perpetrators to justice. Rape is often used against minorities to carryout political vendetta. During anti-Hindu violence shortly after the 2001 elections, the gang rape of a Hindu schoolgirl did shock the nation. A court sentenced 11 men to life in prison for that crime in 2011, which is often taken as a positive notion as “Justice delayed/prolonged, but not denied.”

(part 2 of 5 part series)

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