Rape incidents: A method in the madness?
Rape incidents have been rising steadily in Bangladesh over the years. But over the last couple of months these incidents are reported in much greater frequency unlike any other time in the past.
Also in savagery and their details, effects on victims, etc. these incidents seem to be beating all records.
Even minor children are getting raped frequently. Young women are getting gang raped in running buses and later killed. From reading about the horrific accounts one may start forming a notion whether Bangladesh has all on a sudden become the world’s most rape infested country.
But only some months ago rape incidents used to be not unusual but usual as can be expected in a highly populated country. Why then such an ‘extraordinary’ spurt in rape cases in such a short time. Is this unceasing trail of rape cases in the last couple of weeks a normal development or is it the handiwork of paid operators behind the wings calculated to bolster some kind of opinion. What could be the aim of such opinion makers ? It should be obvious that it could be no other than paving the ground for saying that the government is failing dismally to protect female citizens in the country who have sunk to the lowest depths of despair and insecurity.
Conspicuously, every time a rape occurs we come across statements the next day from this or that opposition leader pointing viciously to the government’s or law enforcement machinery’s failure on that ground.
It is imperative for police’s investigative agencies to launch immediate investigations to find out whetherthese rape sprees are ‘just happening’ or whether these events are being deliberately engineered to humiliate the government and its police forces. It is so important to know the truth or to establish the truth in the public interest.
Now some observations in general about the rape scene in Bangladesh. Rapes used to be a shameful legacy of Bangladesh’s liberation war. But all of these things are now history. The thing to note in independent Bangladesh today is, the number of rape incidents are rising. Even the official figures do not include many other cases which are not reported from shame, social effects of the same, intimidation and from a feeling that justice will not be done to the victims.
Rape incidents are no more limited to the lower gangsters or the lower classes. Newspapers some time ago reported the rape of a female employee of the education department while she was on a study tour of Malaysia by her own Bangladeshi colleague and his subsequent attempts to blackmail her.
Rape victims in many cases do not get justice. Most of them are at the bottom of the pile in society and the ones who rape them are locally powerful or influential persons or gangster who have strong influence on the police . The rape victims who do get their complaints registered in police stations are hazarded by lack of good follow-ups at hospitals to establish that they were really raped. Hospitals lack proper or decent facilities in carrying out examinations of raped women.
The rape incidents point to the need for actions on priority basis to punish the offenders. The ways of law enforcement are found not satisfactory in many cases. Therefore, steps need to be taken so that policemen feel obligated to record rape incidents and take sincere and swift actions against them. A monitoring system should be there for senior police officers to know whether the investigating officers in rape cases are doing their work. Any leniency must be dealt with promptly and sternly. Specially, the police must be instructed to protected rape victims and their families so that they can come forward to unhesitatingly report the incidents or intimidating activities against them by the rapists and their supporters. The process of medical examinations of rape victims should be much improved.