by Our Correspondent in Dhaka:-
The provision for capital punishment for the rape convicts was made effective after a presidential promulgation issued on Tuesday, a day after the government approved the new provision to deal with rising incidents of sexual assaults in Bangladesh.
President M Abdul Hamid promulgated an ordinance as parliament is not in session giving his assent to the amendment proposal to the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act of 2000.
“The President assented the cabinet decision and issued an ordinance on the amendment of Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Daman Ain (Women and Children Repression Prevention Act),” a spokesman of the presidential palace Bangabhaban said.
The presidential consent means that the law is effective from now on, and therefore the maximum punishment for the offence like rape is “death” instead of “lifetime rigorous imprisonment”, according to the law ministry.
The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the new provision in the wake of weeklong protest across Bangladesh after reports that a video footage of stripping and assaulting a woman in southern Noakhali district was stripped by a gang went viral on social media.
Thousands of people joined the protest in Dhaka and in other districts asking the government to raise the punishment for the rapists to death from the life in prison. They also expressed concern over the rising incidents of rape and sexual assaults and demanded that the offenders must be tried within shortest possible time.
The incident came days after another nationwide anger was mounted following reported gang rape of a young woman in front her husband in a dormitory in the northeastern district of Sylhet.