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More than exemplary punishments are needed

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07th-Oct-2017       
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THE wife and also a mother of a toddler was ruthlessly and repeatedly raped by a gang of eight men for hours until Wednesday midnight while her husband was struggling to free his hands tied to a tree outside. Released after the gang-rape at Kajupara village in Puthia upazila of Rajshahi, the couple went straight to Puthia police around 2:30am on Thursday and the victim's husband filed a case against eight men with Puthia Police Station. Police arrested seven of the accused in relation to the horrific crime.
Rape may not be a new phenomenon in Bangladesh, but its pattern is increasingly becoming terrifying, perverted and beastly. A little over a month ago we had witnessed the gang-rape and eventual murder of a 27-year-old woman inside an inter-city bus. And coupled with the above rape case it appears, the beasts among rapists and criminals in Bangladesh have become extreme. What has become evident, however, is that the reason this continues is because there are not enough laws and regulations when it comes to rape, and the ones that do exist are backward and regressive. However, good that this time, because of the husband's prompt reporting, the police was able to catch seven out of the eight rapists.
Bangladesh needs to do a better job of protecting its women. The culture of rape that exists is a sickening reminder of how far we have yet to progress as a nation. Also it is unimaginable that less than two percent of rape cases filed in the country over the last five years have ended in conviction. Legal experts point out that because the legal process is so diffident and humiliating, the bulk of cases ends in out of court settlements. According to police data, 18,668 rape cases were filed during the last five years and there were only 22 convictions. The bulk of rape victims shy away from pursuing cases because it is simply too embarrassing.
If we need to start treating rape cases with much more seriousness, and in specialized courts, then that is what we must do. If we require speedy trials for rape, then that it how it must be. But a solution has become imperative to deter the incidence of horrifying tales of rapes across the country. Too long has this disease flown through the bloodstream of our nation, and also for too long have rapists escaped the clutches of the law. The recurrence of such horrible perverted crime must end.

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