The main accused had an affair with the girl despite being married
Police have arrested a youth over the gang rape of a school girl in Debiganj upazila of Panchagarh.
Jewel Rana and four others violated the ninth grader at Moumari Lohagara village of the upazila on Saturday, according to police.
The four others are Nuru, 22, son of Shaheb Ali of Lohagara village; Munna, 22, son of Shamsul Haque; Rimon, 23, son of Osman Ali; and Nishat, 20, son of Rezaul Karim.
The girl’s mother filed a case with Panchagarh police station on Sunday after which the survivor gave her statement before the court. She also underwent a medical examination.
According to the case, Jewel developed an affair with the girl despite being married. On Saturday, he took the girl to an abandoned house of one of his friends Nishat where he raped her.
Jewel’s friend Munna secretly recorded the incident, and later Munna, Nuru, Rimon and Nishat also violated her, threatening to upload the video to the internet.
On returning home, the girl revealed the assault to her mother who later lodged a complaint accusing the five of raping her daughter.
Bazlur Rashid, inspector of Debiganj police, said the complaint lodged by the victim’s mother turned into a case.
Sexual assaults on women continue unabated in Bangladesh, despite the government introducing death penalty for rapes last year.
A police headquarters report, released recently, said that 26,695 rape cases were filed across the country in the past five years.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) data shows that 1,018 children were raped last year alone, but only 683 police cases had been filed. Also, 116 survivors were six years old or below.
Overall, 1,627 rape cases were reported last year and 53 of the women were killed by the perpetrators while 14 took their own lives, as per the data.
However, ASK's data is just the tip of the iceberg, according to aid agencies, who report that most women are too afraid to report rape.
In October 2020, the country was rocked by protests after a woman was allegedly attacked and raped in Noakhali.
In November last year, Bangladesh introduced capital punishment for rape, following days of protests against sexual violence against women in several cities across the country.
However, human rights organisations say the move will not solve the country's rape crisis, as the survivors of the heinous crime are often stigmatised in the society.