There have been strong reactions to the brutal gang-rape and murder of Jakia Sultana Rupa on a moving bus from Sirajganj to Mymensingh on August 25.
Women’s rights activist advocate Salma Ali of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers´ Association (BNWLA) said this is the highest form of sadism.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, she said: “I have no words for this. The women in our country have no right to movement. She was a victim of systemic violence, men took pleasure from inflicting violence on someone and that says a lot about our social degradation now. Even the way they killed her … breaking her neck … I have no words. This keeps happening because there is no accountability and rape sentences never have a guideline.”
Rupa was gang-raped by five men on a bus, the driver of Chhoa Paribahan, Habib, 45, bus supervisor Safar Ali, 55, driver’s assistant Shamim, 26, Akram, 35, and Jahangir, 19. Shamim, Akram and Jahangir confessed to the police that they raped and murdered Rupa.
Rupa was on her way to Mymensingh on that fateful night after taking an exam for non-government teachers in Bogra.
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Her colleague got off the bus in Elenga area in Tangail at 8:30pm. Rupa’s rapist confessed that she was the only passenger after everyone got off the bus at Sirajganj intersection, west side of Bangabandhu bridge and Elenga.
As the bus reached Kalihati upazila, Shamim pushed Rupa to the back of the bus. Scared, she offered him money and her mobile phone which he refused and proceeded to rape her.
She was then gang-raped by Shamim, Akram and Jahangir. When she screamed they broke her neck. The men threw her body on the roadside in Madhupur’s Panchish Mile area on Tangail-Mymensingh Highway.
There have been numerous calls for justice on social media: “We know, there is a trial process ahead. But, it should be completed fast. We need to make some examples,” said Sadia Senjuti, a student. “What about executing them at open firing squad following court order?” commented another user Mahdunnabi Sabuj.
Police recovered Rupa’s body on Friday and filed a murder case, seeing the injuries on her body. Her elder brother identified the body on Monday.
Locals of Tarash upazila of Sirajganj district formed a human chain in front of the local press club, demanding justice.