As the whole country celebrated the historical speech of 7th March by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and their 47th Independence Day, the area of female security delved deeper into the black hole. The country of Bangladesh is the most vulnerable ever with frequent incidents of rape, molestation and sexual assault throughout the major cities.
Bangladesh: The Sanctuary of Rapists
According to Shomoy News channel, the progression of annual rape case numbers has hit an all-time high in Bangladesh. From an alarming rate of 93 officially filed rape cases in 2012, we have now “achieved” the frightening number of over a thousand rape cases in 2017. The number is expected to grow even more this year with multiple rape and sexual assault cases coming into light every week.
To put things in perspective, below is the report of all sexual assaults known to the masses only in the month of March 2018.
During this time and for last few years in fact, both women and children groups are being targeted as the sexual fantasy models by perverted men. It is getting almost impossible for any female to get out of the house without the fear of being raped or harassed. While the narrow-minded extremists who always have and always will blame it on the victim’s clothing choices, let’s take a look at the factual details of each major incident.
Keep in mind, many more incidents like this have taken place throughout the country but were never disclosed due to either political pressure or fear of victim shaming.
- 7th March, Public Molestation in Procession
This was a historical day for the current political party in power – Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) due to the aforementioned speech by its founder. While their leader and the present Prime Minister Mrs. Sheikh Hasina has gained global acclamation for her daring move to shelter the tortured Rohingyas, the young activists participating in the procession showed a completely contrasting demeanor.
in spite of being recognized as an important day, 7th March is not in fact a national holiday. Thus, all the common people including women had to attend their academic institution or employing organization. However, the young BAL activists made sure these women do not feel comfortable while carrying out their commuting duties.
The girls were stared at and teased all along with sexual innuendos. Some of them were given the “respect” of getting wet with bottled water thrown by those activists. And of course, that is not the worst the spoiled brats could offer.
A young college student named Aditi Bairagi was attacked and harassed by 15-20 procession members. Some “intelligent” boys even tried to record a video of this “amusing” scenario! The button of her dress was torn out and the scarf was taken out of place. The members got their hands on as many places of her body as possible. She struggled to save her dignity with her bare two hands but failed. Finally, a police officer came to the rescue and found her a bus to get home safely. She passed the day in crucial pain and mental trauma. She also vowed to leave this “country of pigs” as soon as possible.
We feel the same, Aditi.
- 10th March, Child Maid Raped by Owner for 6 Days
In Narsingdi, a child maid-servant was raped for six days in a row from 23rd February by the owner Abdus Salam Mia. He raped her so brutally, that she had to be admitted to ICU on 10th March morning for her heavily deteriorated physical condition. Till then, she had been bleeding non-stop.
Salam Mia is a powerful retired agricultural officer and thus many attempts have been made to keep this incident shush. He himself threatened the journalists and media to file a case on them if they come forward with this news.
The child victim, on the other hand, has urged her day-laborer father to not “waste” the money on saving her. Who’s really the one deserving of respect here? We’ll leave that judgment to all sane people.
- 12th March, School Girl Raped by 55-year old and Thrown into Septic Tank
In Hathazari Upazila of Chittagong, a third-grade girl was raped by the 55-year old Apan Chandra – a clerk of her school. The minor visited Katirhat High School with a friend to look for her brother who studies there. As it was empty due to teachers’ strike, she sought the help of Apan Chandra who took her to the 1st floor. When she did not come down for a long time, her friend informed a teacher and a search party was assigned to find her. Hearing screams from the school’s septic tank, the party rescued her from it and took her to the health complex. She then described the whole incident and disclosed the rape. Later the locals caught a hold of the rapist and handed him over to the police.
- 13th March, 7-year-old Raped by 70-year-old Moulvi
A mere child of just 7 years age was lured into the maze field and then raped by the 70-year-old moulvi who promised her Tk. 40. As she started screaming, locals ran towards the location but the rapist had fleed. Fortunately, he was later captured from a nearby village named Nandar Kumulli where the culprit had been a high school teacher. The child was moved to Tangail General Hospital for necessary treatments.
- 14th March, Pregnant Housewife Gangraped
In Lakshmipur, a six-month pregnant housewife was raped by three men taking turns. She was waiting to meet her husband when one of the culprits promised her shelter at a mansion. As she followed him there, he and two other men raped her repeatedly along with snatching Tk. 5200 from her. She was rescued by the locals who heard her screams and was then admitted to Lakshmipur Sadar Hospital.
- 15th March, DU Student Attacked in Broad Daylight
Dhaka University (DU) has been a place of love and celebration for decades. It is held in the highest respect when it comes to Bangladeshi universities. However, their very own student named Suborna Ahmed went through a terrifying ordeal in her own campus.
As she was returning from classes in the morning, she was attacked by three men. They first followed her, then one forcibly held her hand and another started sniffing her hair from the back! She tried to flee but two of them stopped her and started verbally abusing her. Even though she screamed and few people passed by, no one came forward to help.
When one of the guys attacked her left hand with a knife and another started to manage a transport, she took out a pen from her bag. Then she used every bit of strength in her body to apply the pen as a weapon on them. Two rickshaw-pullers heard her screams and helped to get her home safely.
- 17th March, Teenager Constantly Raped and Murdered
On the 47th celebration of Independence Day of Bangladesh, the country was introduced to a whole new symbolism of their true state. A photo started circulating the social media where the body of raped and murdered 16-year-old teenager named Beauty Akhter was shown. This heartbreaking picture of her laying down lifeless in the green field wearing a red dress, has become the symbol of today’s Bangladesh. It is as though, mother nature is pointing at us what this country has really become – a place for women to be sexually exploited.
Beauty was murdered on 17th March and also raped by the same criminals two months ago. Her father Sayed Ali filed a case but no action was taken by the police due to political power games. Mother of the main rapist is a member of Brandmandora Union Parishad who believed protecting her monstrous son was more important than paying respect to the violated body of Beauty
- 20th March, Harassment Victim Verbally Abused by Mullahs
A young girl was verbally abused by multiple Mullahs from local mosques after she was physically harassed by a man on the street. When she was waiting for the bus, a stranger stood beside her and grabbed her behind. She caught him in the act and protested confidently. As the molester started giving excuses, all the men surrounding the two favored the culprit and blamed the victim. When she held his hand to take him to the police station, the “audience” stopped her from doing so and ensured the culprit can flee in peace.
She stood there feeling insulted, defeated and stunned, when the Mullahs started blaming her for the whole occurrence! They verbally abused her criticizing how she is losing respect by speaking loudly on road and how adamantly she is not letting go of the molester.
Being traumatized, she went through a night full of nightmares. The world taught her – demanding justice is a heinous act for females.
- 23rd March, 8-year-old Raped and Strangled
In Ramganj Upazilla of Lakshmipur, an 8-year-old girl was raped and strangled by her uncle Shah Alam Rubel. The child was lured from her home by ice-cream and being allowed to watch TV. Then Rubel raped her and strangled her to death. Her body was wrapped in jute bag and thrown under a bridge, after keeping it at Rubel’s house for 2 days. Rubel and his accomplice Borhan Uddin have been taken into custody by police on 3rd April.
- 25th March, Students Sexually Harassed by Head Teacher
In a primary school of Meherpur, several students of Classes IV and V have been sexually harassed by the head teacher Md. Hafizur Rahman. They were taken to the computer room after coaching classes and molested by him. However, no effective steps have been taken so far and the culprit Hafizur Rahman has denied all allegations citing them as “conspiracy”.
- 25th March, 1st-grader Girl Raped by 9th-grader
A 1st-grader girl of a madrasa in Charbata union was raped at a garden when she was going to a local shop. She is six years old and had been admitted to Noakhali General Hospital in critical condition. The accused is a ninth grader at Habibia High School and has been detained by police.
- 26th March, Madrasa Girl Raped
A madrasa girl was raped by Kamrul Islam (25) in Krishnapur village of Narsingdi. Kamrul is the son of Suruj Mia from the same village. Kamrul brought the girl to a desolated house when she was on her way to meet an uncle. He then tied her hand and legs before raping her mercilessly. Locals then rescued her from the empty house as the rapist fled. She was then sent to Manohardi Upazila Health Complex.
- 28th March, Woman Cut Into Pieces
A final-year Honours student’s dead body was found in several pieces. She used to wear Burkha and performed Namaz timely everyday. It is still not known who did this and why. Photos of her gory dead body have been circulating on Facebook but the full story is yet to be disclosed.
The Dying Breed
When so much is happening all around us targeting women as a sex toy, there are a few men who have still not surrendered their soul to lust. There has been a refreshing experience shared by this woman where she was protected from potential molesters by a random guy! As she was waiting for the bus submerged in worrisome thoughts due to recent events, a man made sure she is not even touched improperly by others. He used his hand and bag to form a barrier between the woman and others. As he kept the possible predators away, some of them got annoyed and criticized(!) him for doing so. But he stood his ground and ensured her safety. When is the last time any of you Bangladeshi women experienced something like this?!
We need more, MANY MANY MORE of such personalities to come forward and help the other gender in trouble. Otherwise, no matter how many teenage girls cross the Bangla Channel or win the football tournament championship, we will lag thousand years behind in both women empowerment and gender equality.