10-year-old rape victim finally gets justice

The gruesome rape crime committed by a madrasah super against a 10-year-old student in Sharankhola upazila could have been settled through a rural arbitration like what is usually done in many other rape incidents in Bangladesh but this time the victim’s father dared to move the court to secure justice for her daughter.

The fifth grader finally got justice as a Bagerhat court has sentenced the rapist to life term imprisonment recently.

Bagerhat Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-2 Judge Mohamamd Nure Alam on Thursday sentenced madrasah super Maulana Ilias Jamaddar to life term imprisonment in a case filed for violating the girl in 2019.

The court also fined him Tk 20,000 and he will have to suffer one year more rigorous imprisonment if he fails to pay the fine.

The verdict was announced just eight months after the start of the trial proceedings in the case.

Many people thronged the court premises to know about the verdict as police produced the accused before the court.

After announcing the verdict, the convict was put behind bars.

Quicker trial in all cases sought

Expressing satisfaction over the verdict, people from all walks of life demanded steps to complete the trial proceedings of all the cases under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act in a quicker time.

“I’ve got justice and I also hope that the higher court will uphold it,” said the father of the victim in his instant reaction to reporters.

However, advocate Ali Akbar, defence counsel, said they will file an appeal against the verdict.

The convict, Ilias Jamaddar, son of Abdul Gaffar Jamaddar, was the super of Rashidia Ebtedayee Madrasah at Uttar Khontakata village in Sharankhola upazila.

How it happened

According to the prosecution, the victim along with her three friends went to the madrasah super for learning Quran on August 7, 2019.

At one stage, Ilias asked three other students to leave and took the victim to the library room of the madrasah where he violated the girl after tying her mouth.

When the girl fell sick, she was sent to her home with the help of her another classmate.

Ilias went to the victim’s family and tried to settle the matter.

On August 19, 2019, the father of the girl filed a case against the madrasah super with Sharankhola Police Station.

Police arrested Ilias on October 28, 2019 and submitted a chargesheet against the accused on November 13 that year.

On March 9, 2020, the tribunal framed charges against him and recorded the depositions of 15 witnesses.

Bagherhat court sets examples

On September 19 last, a Bagerhat court sentenced a man to life term imprisonment in a child rape case within seven working days after the framing of charges, setting a record in quick disposal of justice in the country.

The verdict was pronounced following huge protests against the growing rape incidents across the country and demand for capital punishment for rapists.

Amid the widespread protests, an ordinance has been promulgated by the President allowing death penalty as the highest punishment for rape instead of life term imprisonment.

According to Ain o Salish Kendra, a rights group, at least 208 cases of gang rape – a fifth of a total of nearly 1,000 cases – were reported in the first nine months of this year.

UN Concerned

Expressing serious concerns over the increasing violence against women in Bangladesh, the United Nations has recommended an urgent reform of the criminal justice system in the country to extend support and protect victims and witnesses.

“United Nations (UN) expresses serious concerns over the increasing violence against women in Bangladesh. These are heinous crimes and grave violations of human rights. One rape is one too many,” said the UN in a statement on October 7.

Source: United News of Bangladesh