Bangladesh can’t be a sanctuary for rapists
In Christian apocryphal, Peter was found to ask Jesus, "Whither goest thou?" and the reply came, "I am going to Rome to be crucified again". We everyday hanging millions of gods and even more number of angels are being pierced bodily and expressively. Recent brutal killing of seven years old Samia after rape in capital resulted mass commotion. But as many as innumerable Samia are being fallen a victim of heinous temptation of sexually lunatics in our society daily.
A Samia's aged daughter of my friend (name is not mentioned for due reason) also being raped brutally calling her in a mosque in old Dhaka couple of years back. The kid have been surviving but with fear and anxiety. She hardly can tolerate a bearded man with crochet hat. She screams at midnight and can't trust anybody except her parents.
A recent statistics of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) found that about five hundred children in Bangladesh were raped in the first half of the underway calendar while Bangladesh Mahila Parishad claimed so as to 731 women were raped by this time. It means, two third of the rape victims were children! It tells us that the country is not at all a safe place for girls. So, it's no more a time to give cold shower the issue.
The existing Women and Children Repression Act in the country made the provision of rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine for rape. According to the article 9 (ii) of the said act, only death resulting from rape can ensure capital punishment for a rapist. But the Oppression of Women and Children (Special Provisions) Act, 1995 found any rapist to be punishable with death.
So, the lax legal action, inertness in judiciary, availability of lawyers for rapist and back-up from political influences permit barbaric criminals to move in the society opening their chests.
"Where mercy is the scrawny weaknesses,/ O Mighty, order me to be cruel there," Rabindranath Tagore prayed and is obvious demand of time in Bangladesh. A pseudonymous "Hercules" emerged as serial killer to hunt rapists in January-February but disappeared after taking couple of revenges. The humanist groups and a portion of civil society were seen aloud against such 'serial killing'. But Hercules was the man more sinned against than sinning and possibly needed in action as long as rapists gaze in our society.
Orthodoxy, superstition and patriarchal culture in our society still arrange all mechanism to prove rape and such other malicious crime doers as virile. A group of people start to dissect the character of victim woman after a rape taking place instead of showing concern against the despicable crook.
Fanaticism and little idea about Islamic proviso among the populace pivot as curse to them. For achieving piety of Allah and heaven in next life, little educated or uneducated but godly parents in Bangladesh are keen to make their children pious. So, they prefer to send their children in Madrasas. But most of the madrasas in the country are owned, administered and taught by the community having no firm knowledge of Islam and mainstream learning as well.
Sexual assault by madrasa authority is a regular phenomenon here now. Al Amin, the founding director and principal of Baitul Huda Cadet Madrasa was held for raping 12 students; Abul Khayer Belali of Ma Hawa (a) Qawmi Mohila Madrasa at Kendua in Netrokona raped eight students; Israt Hossain, the principal of Madinatul Darul Ulum Madrasa arrested for raping an eight years old girl. All are very recent news. They used to rape victims with fear of hell. Fear of spreading scandals and complain to parents are the two more common weapons they use to shut the mouth of victims. Even boys are also not safe from them. A Qawmi madrasa teacher from Dagonbhuiyan in Feni found to rape a nine-year old boy.
It is seen that a good number of serial rapists in the country were also entertained politically. Sons of wealthy and influential families are not subjudice herein Bangladesh. Thereby, the country is gradually becoming the sanctuary for rapists and the state can't avoid the failure to ensuring safe environment for women.
Ensuring exemplary punishment of rapist is thereby becomes the prerequisite for the state to prove its supremacy and to establish the role of law in the country.
It's known fact that neutrality always favours the oppressor, never the victim. Similarly silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. We therefore, need to stand hand in hand against all rapists impartially. The culture of wine and dine to rapists endangering our survival. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that injustice anywhere is a threat to everywhere. And it's high time to bring all rapists under trial irrespective to class, community and political identity to save our girls and in fact, to save the nation from ruining.
The author is a Researcher and Sports Reporter, The Daily Observer