Sexual assaults on women continue unabated in Bangladesh, despite the government introducing death penalty for rapes last year
Four men allegedly broke into a house in Sadar upazila and raped a 35-year-old woman after tossing her three-month-old baby out of the window.
The woman's only crime was that she took time to hand over the keys of the almirah to the robbers, police said.
In her complaint, the woman claimed that the four men entered her house in a village in Sadar upazila around 2:30am on Wednesday when the family members were fast asleep.
The four woke her up and demanded the keys of the almirah. As she was taking time, they allegedly threw her baby girl out of the window into a pond adjacent to the house.
Later the four gagged the woman and took turns to rape her before decamping with cash and one tola gold, as per the complaint.
After the cops were alerted, a team from Sadar police station rushed to the spot and fished out the body of the baby from the pond.
Enayet Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station, said, “Four robbers barged into the house and violated the woman. The medical examination of the woman has confirmed rape."
A case of rape has been registered on a complaint filed by the house owner. "The baby's body has been sent to the local hospital morgue for an autopsy," the OC said.
"Efforts are also on to identify the perpetrators of the heinous crime," he added.
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Bangladesh's rape epidemic
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 organizations say the move will not solve the country's rape crisis, as the survivors of the heinous crime are often stigmatized in the society.