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MPs call for killing rapists in crossfire

  • Published at 04:18 pm January 14th, 2020
File photo of an ongoing session inside the Bangladesh Parliament Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

‘…if we can take instant actions through crossfire in the case of drug-related issues, then why we can’t follow it in the case of rapists?’ asks Tofail Ahmed

Several members of parliament — both from the treasury and opposition benches — have demanded that rapists be executed in crossfire to eliminate the heinous social crime from the country.

Kishoreganj 3 MP Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu, of Jatiya Party (JaPa), initiated the issue while talking on point of order in the House on Tuesday, saying that the highest number of rape incidents took place in 2019, reports UNB.

He demanded the speaker fix a day in parliament suspending all other businesses and hold discussions on how to get rid of this social crime.

Advocating for bringing amendments to the existing law, he said mere life imprisonment sentence cannot control the growing number of incidents of rape. “The provision of death penalty should be incorporated in the law.”

Pointing at Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Chunnu said: “You’re putting people on crossfire as part of fight against illegal drugs. But why aren’t you going for a single instance of crossfire in the case of rape?”

Participating in an unscheduled discussion, Tofail Ahmed, veteran Awami League lawmaker from Bhola 1, said: “This is right that we need to have a tougher law.”

“But if we can take instant actions through crossfire in the case of drug-related issues, then why we can’t follow it in the case of rapists?” he questioned.

“The man who we know has committed this act [rape] doesn’t have any right to live on in this world anymore,” the senior ruling party leader asserted.

Over the past 14 days of the new year, more than 10 women and children were raped across Bangladesh.

According to Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), incidents of rape doubled across the country in 2019, compared to 2018.

A total of 1,413 women were raped and gang-raped throughout last year, while the number was 732 in 2018 and 818 in 2017, said the human rights watchdog in a report published recently.

Also, ASK said, a total of 1,087 children, including 37 boys, either faced sexual harassment or were raped in 2019. The number of such children victims was 444 in 2018.

‘Crossfire will decrease number of rapes’

Joining the discussion Chunnu started in parliament on Tuesday, Kazi Firoz Rashid, another MP from main opposition JaPa, said that the incidents of rape took an epidemic like turn in the country in recent times.

Regarding the rape of a Dhaka University student in Kurmitola area and a readymade garment worker at Dhamrai, he said: “When you go to court to try the rapist, you won’t get any witness. Therefore, you’ll have to go for encounter to get rid this society of the rape menace.”

Pointing at human rights activists who protest such killings in encounters, Firoz said: “You would have understood [the pain] if you or your mother or sister were raped.”

At least one extrajudicial killing occurred in Bangladesh every day in 2019, according to ASK data. Between January 1 and November 30, some 362 people died in crossfire, torture, shootout, illness, and suicide while they were in custody of different law enforcement agencies.

Referring to a gang-rape on a moving bus in Tangail, Dhaka 6 lawmaker Firoz told the House Tuesday that further incidents of rape would not have occurred if these rapists in Tangail were killed in crossfire.

Some 10-12 crossfires of rapists would bring down the number of incidents of rape, he opined. “The only remedy to the rape menace is killing the rapist in crossfire after taking his confessional statement.”

Chittagong 2 MP Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, also supported Chunnu and the others.

“I can say you’ll surely get the chance of going to the heaven if you kill rapists in crossfire,” he said.

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