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100 rape incidents in 6 months: Intelligence

'Offenders in some cases get political shelter'

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 25th July, 2015 09:29:06 PM
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100 rape incidents in 6 months: Intelligence

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Women facing sexual offences prefer not to report in most cases for lack of support mechanism for the victims, political and social influence of the offenders, and a lengthy trial process, according to intelligence reports and rights activists, reports UNB.


A senior intelligence official, preferring anonymity, told UNB that they have recorded some 100 rape incidents over the last six months till June this year, but said the actual incidents are much higher than the recorded ones.


"In many cases, the victims don't disclose the incidents fearing social stigma. Even sometimes, the perpetrators record the rape scenes with their cellphones and threaten to spread the video through the internet," he said.


Even when a victim is brave enough to file a complaint with law enforcers, the investigation and trial get blunted for various reasons.


Sheikh Nazmul Alam, Deputy Commissioner of the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), said the victims in most cases are found reluctant about cooperating with investigators.


Sometimes, he said, the perpetrators go unpunished as the victims as well her family members denied to testify in the court against the offenders, he said.


Advocate Fahmida Akter, a case manager of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA), identified the lack of victim and witness protection law as the main reason behind the reluctance of the victims in cooperating with the investigators or making depositions before the court that results in lingering of the trial process.


"Sometimes, the public prosecutors do not receive the witness for deposition before the court in due time," she said.


Prof Ayesha Mahmuda of Psychology Department of Dhaka University, said, "When a culprit goes unpunished, he thinks there's nothing serious and he gets encouraged for more sexual assaults."


"At times, we can see the culprits are somehow having a relation with political high-ups who try to protect the culprits," she said adding, "I think, these days religious practice has also lost influence causing  the recurrence of rape incidents," Prof Aysha observed.


Easy access to drugs as well as porno contents can also be held responsible for building up sexually offensive mindset among youths, she added.


Nari Sanghati coordinator Shyamoly Shil said rape and sexual assaults had been there before, but nowadays these things are happening more and more and even in open place, which is a big concern.


President of Dhaka University unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Union Liton Nandi who is the main eyewitness to the incident of sexual harassment of several women on the DU campus said if the culture of impunity has increases, the tendency of committing such crimes also increases.


 He also expressed his surprise that months after the DU sexual assault, the DB police are yet to arrest any offender involved in that incident.


Several women who joined the Bengali New Year celebrations on April 14 were sexually harassed by a group of miscreants in Dhaka University's TSC and Suhrawardy Udyan gate areas.


According to Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, a total of 492 rapes took place in the country from January to June this year. Earlier in 2014, 939 rape incidents were recorded across the country.


According to Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA), 23 cases were recorded in connection with deaths due to rape in 2013, while the figure was 20 and 16 in 2012.