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9-year-old rape survivor recounts ordeal at press briefing

  • Published at 09:45 am February 12th, 2018
  • Last updated at 06:40 pm February 12th, 2018
9-year-old rape survivor recounts ordeal at press briefing
In Natore, a nine-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her 16-year-old uncle, has had to recount the ordeal at a press conference when the medical report failed to confirm the sexual assault, even though the accused has admitted to the crime. The incident took place in Bonpara municipality on January 24, when Mahbub invited his niece over from the house next door to teach her how to ride a bicycle around noon. Then he lured her inside with the promise of chocolates. When the unsuspecting girl was inside the house, her uncle tied her mouth with her scarf and forced himself on to her. The rape survivor told her mother of what transpired once she got home, and they went to another part of the village and contacted her father. The family went to the police together and filed a case against Mahbub. The police promptly arrested the accused, and he confessed his crime, according to Investigating Officer Tahsenur Rahman. The rape survivor was admitted to the local Upazila Health Complex for medical examination the same day. The resident medical officer, Dr Shikha Rani, was absent and the test could not be carried out on January 24. It was carried out the next morning. When Mahbub was produced before the court, he was given bail on January 30 so he could sit for his SSC exams, even though rape is a non-bailable offense in Bangladesh. Shafikul, the father of the rape survivor, alleged that the medical report did not note the sexual assault, and claimed it was removed due to the influence of the accused. Furthermore, the medical report noted January 24 as the day of examination and not January 25. In the report, Dr Shikha Rani claimed the rape survivor had a history of sexual abuse, but there was no evidence of sexual assault on the day of the incident. In spite of her conclusion that there was “history of sexual assault but no evidence of sexual assault,” she described all identifiers as normal. When asked, she said the date of admission was put down and not the date of examination. She refused to explain matters any further and stated she would only explain herself to the court as the matter is part of an ongoing case. At a press briefing on Sunday, Shafikul and his daughter aired their grievances with the outcome despite following due procedure. He said Mahbub’s family is pressuring them to dismiss the charges in exchange for money.
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