The MPs also urged the Speaker to set a date to discuss how to end the scourge of rape and why such incidents have shot up lately
The comments made by lawmakers that rapists should be killed “in crossfire” are their personal opinions and not the stand of the government or the ruling party, says Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
“They [the lawmakers] expressed their own opinions, which is not the position of their parties or of the government,” he told reporters at the secretariat in Dhaka on Thursday.
“I was abroad when the MPs voiced their demand [in parliament]. Later, I saw online that they had demanded such measures in order to put an end to rape incidents," said Quader, who is also the general secretary of ruling Awami League.
On Tuesday, during a session in the House, some lawmakers, including Awami League’s Tofail Ahmed, Jatiya Party’s Mujibul Haque Chunnu and Kazi Firoz Rashid, demanded that the law enforcement agencies kill rapists in crossfire to stop incidents of rape, which have increased alarmingly in recent times.
Coming from both treasury and opposition benches, the MPs also called on the government to amend the existing law by incorporating a provision for the death penalty for the rapists.
They also urged the speaker to set a date for a discussion on how to end the scourge of rape and why such incidents had shot up of late.
However, expressing deep concern, Transparency International Bangladesh and Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), in separate press statements, on Wednesday condemned and protested against the lawmakers’ demand.
According to 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, it 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.