Police say the 50-year-old man confessed to the crimes during initial interrogation
An imam in Comilla’s Chandina upazila has been arrested on charges of holding a 14-year-old female madrasa student in captivity for two days and raping her multiple times.
Abul Bashar, 50, the imam of Noyabari mosque situated at Chandina’s Teerchar, was arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from Sadar Dakkhin upazila late on Monday.
According to RAB 11 CPC Company Commander Maj Md Sakib Hossain, Bashar raped the girl between July 22 and 23 as he kept her in confinement at his home.
On July 24, after the girl became sick from repeated violations, Bashar left her with her brother and fled. He has been on the run since then.
Later, the girl’s father filed a rape case at Chandina police station accusing Bashar, who used to teach Arabic to the girl as a private tutor.
RAB opened an investigation soon after it was notified about the case. The elite police unit arrested Bashar during a special raid late on Monday night.
Maj Sakib also said that Bashar, during preliminary questioning, confessed to raping the girl after he tricked her and confined her at his home.
Even though the government introduced the death penalty for rape in November last year, such sexual assaults on women are happening on a daily basis in Bangladesh.
A Police Headquarters report, released recently, said that 26,695 rape cases were filed across the country in the past five years.
Rights group Ain o Salish Kendra’s (ASK) data shows that 1,018 children were raped in the last year alone, but only 683 police cases had been filed. Also, 116 rape 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, according to 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.
Between January and June this year, according to ASK, the country also saw 532 rapes and 139 gang rapes.