The Financial Express

Teenage schoolgirl gang-raped in Panchagarh: Prime accused held

Teenage schoolgirl gang-raped in Panchagarh: Prime accused held

Police have arrested a 26-year-old married man in a case over gang rape of a teenage schoolgirl and were looking for four other accomplices in the grisly assault in in Panchagarh.

The gang of five, led by prime accused Jewel Rana, violated the ninth grader at Moumari Lohagara village in Debiganj upazila on Saturday, according to the case.

The rape case was filed by the girl’s mother against the five with Panchagarh Police Station on Sunday.

The four other accused are Nuru, 22, son of Shaheb Ali of Lohagara village, Minna, 22, son of Shamsul Haque, Rimon, 23, son of Osman Ali, Nishat, 20, son of Rezaul Karim.

The lone arrestee Jewel was sent to jail, police said.

The rape survivor gave a statement before the court. A medical examination was also done on her.

According to the complaint, Jewel Rana, son of Khoka Mia of Bandar thana developed an affair with the girl despite being married.

On Saturday, Jewel took the girl to an abandoned house of one of his friends Nishat where she raped her.

Jewel’s friend Munna secretly took the video of the incident. Later, Munna, Nuru, Rimon and Nishat also violated the protesting girl in turns threatening to upload the video footage to the social networking site and internet.

On return home, the girl revealed the assault to her mother who later lodged a complaint accusing the five of raping her daughter.

Bazlur Rashid, inspector of Debiganj Police Station, said the complaint lodged by the victim’s mother turned into a case.

Sexual assaults on women continue unabated in Bangladesh, despite the government introducing death penalty for rapes last year.

A police headquarters report, released recently, said that 26,695 rape cases were filed across the country in the past five years.

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) data shows that 1,018 children were raped last year alone, but only 683 police cases had been filed. Also, 116 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, as per 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.

In October 2020, the country was rocked by protests after a woman was allegedly attacked and raped in Noakhali.

In November last year, Bangladesh introduced capital punishment for rape, following days of protests against sexual violence against women in several cities across the country.

But human rights organisations say the move will not solve the country's rape crisis, as the survivors of the heinous crime are often stigmatised in the society, reports UNB.

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