The period January-August 2020 saw 983 alarming incidents of violence against children, with 465 dead, 415 sexually assaulted, 457 injured and 637 arrested, according to a latest report.
A 17 per cent increase in violence against children was reported in August 2020, compared to July this year, showed the report prepared by a project styled 'Bangladesh Peace Observatory (BPO)' under Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University.
Barishal and Rajshahi saw the greatest rate of deaths in violence against children, with Barishal witnessing two times higher death rates compared to all other divisions (except for Rajshahi), it said.
However, the August 2020 number of incidents of violence against children stands at 142, which is lower than August 2019 (217 incidents), it shows.
The report styled Peacegraphics: a BPO eNewsletter, September2020, highlights 10 categories of violence including violence against children in January-August 2020 across the country.
In August 2020, there were a total of 1359 reported incidents mapped by the BPO in Bangladesh, 717 of which were violent.
Assaults, sexual assaults, and clashes comprise most of the violent incidents, while arrests consist of most of the non-violent incidents. Rajshahi and Barishal are the divisions with the highest rate of the incidents (per 0.10 million people), and the frequency is surprisingly low in Dhaka, it further said.
Sexual assaults increased by 53 per cent in August 2020, compared to July 2020. The number of sexual assaults was 53 in July, but it rose to 81 in August. Still, it is less than the 163 sexual assaults that occurred in August 2019. There has been a total of 609 incidents of sexual assault from January till August 2020, leading to 36 deaths and 563 arrests.
Domestic and Dowry-related Violence
August 2020 also saw a downward trend of domestic and dowry-related violence (58 incidents) compared to August 2019 (68 incidents). But since July 2020, domestic and dowry-related violence increased by 12 per cent – with Barishal and Rajshahi having the highest incident rates. In the recorded total of 367 domestic and dowry-related incidents between January and August this year, 131 were injured, 239 females died and 183 were arrested.
From the beginning of the year till August, 182 incidents of abductions were reported, leading to 179 arrests, 44 deaths, and 74 injuries. 52 per cent of the victims were children, 42 per cent were men and 6 per cent were women. Compared to August 2019, August 2020 saw lesser abductions.
The downward trend of August 2020 compared to August 2019 continued in terms of mob violence. In the 90 incidents of mob violence in January-August 2020, 149 were arrested, 28 ended up dead and 109 were injured. Thieves, miscreants, hijackers, and robbers were the victims of most of them. 9 such incidents took place in August 2020.
The number of gunfights has dropped 89 per cent compared to July 2020. The number of gunfights was the lowest in April than in the previous months. From May, the number of gunfights started to go upward – but in August, the number fell drastically to 4. In 161 incidents of gunfights in January-August 2020, 26 people were arrested, 209 died and 148 were injured. The victims comprised mostly of drug peddlers, robbers/pirates, and convicted criminals.
Since July, the incidents related to border issues dropped by 36 per cent in August 2020. The overall January to August 2020 timeline saw 80 border incidents, with 124 arrested, 36 dead and 22 injured. Also, the August 2020 border incidents dropped almost half of that of August 2019.
August 2020 saw a rise in violent extremism-related incidents compared to August 2019. There have been 90 incidents of violent extremism in between January and August 2020, with 206 arrested, 1 dead and 5 people injured. Dhaka has the highest number of incidents and arrests in this regard. However, compared to July 2020, August 2020 saw a 5 per cent drop in the number of violent extremism-related incidents.
Violence against Minorities
The downward trend of August 2020 compared to August 2019 continued in terms of violence against minorities. In the 30 incidents pertaining to violence against minorities in January-August 2020, 6 were arrested, 5 ended up dead and 44 were injured. 17 temples were attacked and 23 idols were destroyed in the last six months. Rajshahi saw the highest number of incidents in this regard.
There has been a 33 per cent drop in Rohingya issue-related incidents in August 2020, compared to July 2020. The August 2020 number of incidents is also less than that of August last year. In between January and August in 2020, 152 incidents related to the Rohingya issue took place, with 586 arrests, 63 deaths, and 93 injuries reported.