Ensure speedy execution of Subarnar rape victim’s sentence

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Though a delayed judgment, it is welcomed. The court has recently handed down death sentence to ten individuals, while six others have been given life imprisonment for their involvement in the gang-rape incident that occurred in Noakhali’s Subarnachar upazila on December 30, 2018, the day of the national elections.

Judge Fatema Ferdous of Noakhali Women and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal-2 pronounced the verdict on Monday.

The judge, in her observation of the judgment, mentioned that such crimes not only affect the victims but also have repercussions on the state itself.

It is shocking that the day after the verdict of the 2018 rape case of Subarnachar was announced, media reports emerged that a mother and her teenage daughter were gang-raped in Char Kazi Mokles village of the same upazila.

The peculiar connection between the two events, occurring five years apart, is just the exercise of local political power.

In this first case, a local Awami League leader and his associates were among the accused sentenced to death.

In the second incident, one Abul Khair is also a local Awami League leader. According to the police, he was the one who forcibly entered the house by cutting open the door.

It is to be noted that on the night of December 30, 2018, a 40-year-old mother of four children was brutally beaten and gang-raped after her husband and children were tied up.

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This heinous act occurred because she did not cast her vote for the local leader’s preferred symbol at the polling station.

After the investigation, the District Detective Police (DB) filed a charge sheet against 16 individuals, including the expelled publicity secretary of Subarnachar upazila Awami League, Ruhul Amin, on March 27, 2019.

The judgment underscored the principle that regardless of the criminals’ power, they must face punishment for their crimes. Many have hailed this trial as a landmark.

However, it remains uncertain whether this message of justice has truly resonated with the criminals.

According to Char Jabbar Police Station of Subarnachar upazila, earlier in three years and two months, 30 rape cases and 71 attempted rape cases were reported in Subarnachar from 2018.

Additionally, there were 12 cases in 2018, 24 in 2019, and 31 in 2020 on charges of attempted rape.

In the last two years, there have been many more rape cases, but few have been prosecuted.

We want the government to be vigilant to ensure that no one can commit such crimes in the future, even under the shelter of political power.