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No impunity for rapists

  • Published at 11:30 pm January 8th, 2020
Rape protest DU
Photo: RAJIB DHAR

Let the arrest and trial of Md Mojnu set an example for the days to come

It is a relief to know that the prime suspect in the highly publicized Dhaka University student rape case has been apprehended, and that the suspect has confessed to his crimes.

While nothing can erase the trauma of the victim, it is good that at least a dangerous criminal -- a 30-year-old with a history of raping the homeless and people with disability -- will be behind bars and off the street, and that is the kind of pro-active work we need from our law enforcement agencies moving forward.

For too long, Bangladesh has been lax on crimes of rape and sexual violence, which is why rape statistics only keep getting worse, in spite of sporadic protests and sincere efforts by government and non-government organizations. Part of the problem, of course, is that rapists keep getting away with the crimes, thus creating a vicious cycle which emboldens would-be offenders.

No doubt, at this moment, many rapists are running free, either because the crime was not reported, or because law enforcement failed to take prompt action. This needs to change.

It can be hoped, perhaps, that a small success such as this one will encourage more women to come forward with their stories and report crimes of sexual violence that have been committed against them. As mentioned before, many women, sadly, refrain from reporting rape because they feel there is simply no point -- that law enforcement lacks either the ability or the will to rectify this horrific problem that permeates our society.

No more. Let the arrest and trial of Md Mojnu set an example for the days to come, and send a clear and strong message that all those who commit this most severe crime will be punished to the fullest letter of the law.