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Tuesday, July 14, 2020 05:53:26 PM
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Rape Epidemic Justice Must Be Ensured As Effective Vaccine

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Naeem Ariyan :
The whole world has been just disrupted by the Coronavirus. The number of victims is increasing worldwide by leaps and bounds, and rows of corpses are getting longer and longer. No one knows where it will end. And when the stagnation will break, the world will be normal again and then the world will go back to the previously busy schedule.
Fear and anxiety are growing all over the world in this horrible clutches of corona. But looking at Bangladesh, it seems that there is nothing worry of Corona, though in the meantime, the number of victims in Bangladesh has exceeded one lakh. Notwithstanding, rape crime does not stop during such a great crisis. Rape is still happening in Bangladesh one after another by the brute and lascivious savages. Even, not only rape, but also victim is being killed after rape. Such a heinous and cruel act can be done if the morality of the people is severely degraded. These insane rapists do not remember the slightest fear, panic or any kind of remorse after doing this.
When I keep an eye on the news, I tremble in fear. While the whole world is trying to get rid of Corona, this atrocity is going on in some parts of our country. The recent incident in Laxmipur is so brutal that our hearts are laden. Hiramani, a maiden of class nine, was left at home by her mother. Her mother went for treatment of her father who was suffering from Cancer. But who knew it would be tragic for Hiramani! When she was found alone at home, some deranged insane raped Hiramani and killed her cruelly.
Hiramani is not alone in this ill fortune. Every day many more children, teenagers and women have to face such cruel misfortunes like Hiramani. Many events are unseen behind the scenes. A few that comes to the media surprise us. It moves our conscience and makes us speechless.
Let me mention a few such incidents. On March 23, a housewife led by a Chatra League leader was gang-raped in Pabna. And at the end of March, a 15/16 year-old girl was raped and killed by a mosque's Muazzin in Gatargaon. At the same time, in the name of testing Corona in Jamalpur, some bestial in disguised of police entered the house and picked up a teenager. They then raped her one by one. In the beginning of April, a beast raped a 10-year-old child in the name of providing relief in Keraniganj. On April 9, a 9-year-old child was raped in Brahmanbaria. Then on June 8, a disabled girl was gang-raped in Noakhali. There is no end to these incidents. These are going on incessantly.
According to Bangladesh Police statistics, there were a total of 6215 rape cases in Bangladesh in 2019, of which 38 victims died. In 2018, the number was 4627 and the number of dead was 35. Besides, in accordance with the report of Bangladesh Aain o Shalish Kendra (ASAK), a total of 1413 women were raped in 2019 and even 76 of them were killed after being raped. And in 2018 this number was 732. Sad to say, the number of rapes in Bangladesh is doubling every year.
By 2020, the number of rape cases is surpassing all the records. Since the beginning of 2020, the number of rape cases in Bangladesh has exceeded hundred by hundred. During January, I saw a report that in the first 10 days of January 2020 alone, there were 128 rapes in Bangladesh. Almost 400 children, adolescents, maidens and women were raped in the three and a-half month until mid-March. Another survey shows that there had been 36 rapes in just one month since the lockdown began. In March, April and May, 90 women and 116 children were raped. Statistics asserts that an average of 13 people are raped every day in Bangladesh. What a horrible statistic it is! It really hurts to think. These images clearly tell us that rape is becoming an epidemic in our country day by day.
Now the question is where is the end of this epidemic called rape? Why rape is not stopped?  Why is this injustice not checked? Probably the only answer is 'the lack of justice'. So many cases of rape are just being prosecuted, but how many cases are actually being disposed of and the perpetrators being punished? In fact, this number is almost zero. Although the maximum punishment for rape in Bangladesh is the imprisonment for life, in many places the case is far away from being arrested as the rapist is powerful. These ugly inhuman trampled the cases, arrests and prisons under foot getting shelter at the shadow of power and move in the society with their shameless self-glory. They are the lords of society; they are the heads of society. They are the powerful vampires. No law can bind them, because the state seems their great patron.
All events do not come before our eyes, do not attract our attention. Whenever an event catches our attention, there is a lot of fuss about it. Punishment of the criminal is demanded loudly. Normally, everyone has to go out to protest, to want the justice for the victim. Then the case is litigated and the investigation proceeds. Only a few of cases are settled, and the rapists are punished. But in fact, almost all the cases were covered up in the name of investigation. And we once forget that too. Thus, the rape cases remain unresolved. The culprit came out of jail after passing a few days and he becomes a bigger criminal. And finally he becomes a serial rapist, a serial killer.
After seeing such horrible scenario, people tend to think justice is very rare in this country. If our justice system is light and fragile, such things can happen frequently. But, how can the Judiciary avoid liability? These unjust incidents are further encouraging our criminals and of course, this unjust culture continues to play an important role in increasing our crimes. We have to get out of this culture. A proper investigation of each incident must be confirmed, and the punishment of the perpetrator must be ensured. If this salacious rapists and perpetrators are not punished, then we will never be able to reduce any other crime let alone rape. The only vaccine to get rid of these beasts is to ensure strict laws and justice.

(Naeem Ariyan, Dept. of English, University of Chittagong)

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