• Thursday, Aug 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:52 am

When rape becomes payment

  • Published at 01:32 am January 16th, 2020
Sexual Abuse girl hand no
Representational Image Bigstock

Two more shocking incidents of rape take place in Ashulia and Kamrangirchar

The first two weeks of the year 2020 have already seen more than 10 rapes of women and children across Bangladesh, immediately after several rights groups reported that the number of rapes doubled last year compared to 2018.

Giving no respite to the nation reeling from the incidents, allegations of two more shocking incidents of rape from Kamrangirchar and Ashulia areas — both on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka — came to light on Wednesday.

The incidents were reported just one day after several MPs, including a veteran Awami League lawmaker, in parliament said that rapists should be put to death in crossfires by law enforcement agencies — drawing criticism from rights groups protesting extrajudicial killings.

In both these latest cases, the two victims were raped after they or their families failed to pay the money they owed the alleged rapists.

Police, however, have already managed to take two suspects into custody over the incidents.

According to a recently published Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) report, a total of 1,413 women were raped and gang-raped throughout last year. The number was 732 in 2018 and 818 in 2017.

The ASK report also noted that altogether 1,087 children, including 37 boys, either faced sexual harassment or were raped in 2019. The number of such children victims was 444 in 2018.

For a loan waiver…

In Kamrangirchar, police on Tuesday night arrested a man for allegedly abetting the rape of his teenage daughter in exchange for a loan waiver.

The arrestee was identified as Md Liton, 36. Kamrangirchar police Sub-Inspector (SI) Sheikh Md Morshed Ali said the police were working on nabbing the alleged rapist, Md Abul, 35.

Abul had reportedly been raping the 13-year-old girl for days with Liton’s help. The girl’s mother is an expatriate, Morshed said.

The rape survivor was admitted to the One-stop Crisis Centre at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) around 1am on Wednesday.

SI Morshed said Liton worked in a poultry shop and took Tk6,000 in loan from its owner Abul a year ago. When he failed to repay the loan, Abul sought to have a physical relationship with the girl in order to settle the debt.

Liton agreed to the offer and beat the girl when she refused. He later forced her to engage in sexual activities with Abul, who then went on to rape her for days, added the police official.

On Monday, seeking help, the girl talked about her ordeal to a neighbour, who called the authorities via emergency service hotline 999 on Tuesday.

Police later rescued the girl and arrested Liton, SI Morshed said. “Abul has gone into hiding and we are trying to arrest him. A case has also been filed over this incident.”

Gang-raped over rent

A readymade garment worker was reportedly gang-raped by her landlord and three of his accomplices in Ashulia’s Uttar Gazirchat area, after they kept her husband confined in another room of their home.

The alleged incident took place on Tuesday night, according to the victim, after the couple failed to pay the rent for January in advance.

Police detained the house owner Md Kalam on Wednesday afternoon, after the 24-year-old victim — who works at a factory in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone — filed a written complaint at Ashulia police station.

“Kalam has confessed to forcibly taking the woman’s gold jewellery as rent, but rejected the gang rape allegations,” Ashulia police OC Jabed Masud told Dhaka Tribune. “We are investigating.”

“We’ll send the woman to the One-stop Crisis Centre at DMCH for medical tests,” he said. “The process of initiating a case over the incident is also on.”

According to the victim and police, the couple had been living in Kalam’s house for the past one year.

On Tuesday night, Kalam and four or five others went to their home and demanded Tk3,000 as rent for January. When the couple could not pay the money, Kalam asked for the gold jewellery the woman was wearing.

Facing further rejection, Kalam and his accomplices attacked the couple after the woman rejected the landlord’s sexual advances. At one point, they confined the husband in another room and four of them, including Kalam, took turns in raping her.

The alleged rapists also took the woman’s gold jewellery when leaving.

Police said they were trying to arrest the other suspects.

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