by Our Correspondent in Dhaka: –
Several hundred activists have demonstrated in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to protest against what they say a sharp rise in the incidents of rape in the South Asian country.
The protesters, mostly students from the country’s major Dhaka University, carrying anti-rape placards staged a sit-in at Shahbagh intersection, blamed a culture of impunity that led to rise in the incidents of rape and sexual assaults on women in the country.
They also asked the Home Minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, to step down for his failure in ensuring safety for the women and girl child even at their homes.
The protest was organized against the backdrop of a number of reported incidents related to sexual assaults on women and rape cases in different parts of the country.
In one of those incidents, a gang of ruling party activists allegedly intercepted a couple when they went to visit the MC college campus on the evening September 28 in the north-eastern city of Sylhet. They confined her husband in a room and took the woman to another where she was raped. The rapists were arrested later.
In other incidents, a woman in southern Noakhali district lodged a complaint with police seeking justice as yet another gang stripped her off and tried to rape in front of her husband nearly a month ago. The woman kept her hiding in one of her relatives’ home to save her from the gang, and finally she filed the complaint on Sunday night. Subsequently, police arrested four of the suspects from Dhaka and Noakhali.
Police said the suspects confessed to their involvement in the incident.
Activists also paraded roads in the northern Uttara neighbourhood of Dhaka asking the government to take stringent measures against the rapists. They chanted anti-rape slogans.
A group of protesters formed a human chain in Dhaka’s Shaymoli area to protest against the violence on women and children.
Non-governmental organization Ain o Salish Kendra reported that 889 women were raped between January and August this year. Forty of the women were killed after rape. There were 192 attempts of rape and nine girls committed suicide after they were raped.