A gang of young men allegedly kidnapped a couple and their baby from the sea beach in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday afternoon, took them to a desolate place and then to a local hotel where three of them raped the woman for hours.
The crime came to light early on Thursday morning when the woman dialled 999 and sought help from police, said an officer of Rab-15, Major Mehedi Hasan. “Already we have identified two of the accused and efforts are on to arrest the culprits.”
In her police complaint, the 22-year-old woman claimed that she came to Cox’s Bazar with her husband and their eight-month-old baby on Wednesday morning and checked into a hotel.
In the afternoon, the family went out for a stroll on the sea beach. At Laboni point, the woman’s husband had an altercation with one of the accused after he accidentally bumped into the latter.
What started as a small argument soon snowballed into a major altercation and the young man called his accomplices to the spot. They kidnapped the family in two auto-rickshaws and took them to a desolate place near the golf club where three of them allegedly violated the woman.
The woman’s ordeal didn’t end there. The family was taken to Zia Guest Inn from the golf club area, where the three accused again took turns to rape her for hours. They released her in the early hours of Thursday and allegedly threatened to kill her family if she narrated her ordeal to anyone.
Lieutenant Colonel Khairul Islam Sarkar, commanding officer of Rab-15, said their team rushed to the family’s rescue soon after they got the call from the woman. “Strict action will be taken against the perpetrators of the crime.”
Bangladesh’s rape epidemic
Sexual assaults on women continue unabated in Bangladesh, despite the government introducing death penalty for rapes last year.
A police headquarters report, released recently, said that 26,695 rape cases were filed across the country in the past five years.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) data shows that 1,018 children were raped last year alone, but only 683 police cases had been filed. Also, 116 survivors were six years old or below.
Overall, 1,627 rape cases were reported last year and 53 of the women were killed by the perpetrators while 14 took their own lives, as per the data.
However, ASK’s data is just the tip of the iceberg, according to aid agencies, who report that most women are too afraid to report rape.
In October 2020, the country was rocked by protests after a woman was allegedly attacked and raped in Noakhali.
In November last year, Bangladesh introduced capital punishment for rape, following days of protests against sexual violence against women in several cities across the country.
But human rights organisations say the move will not solve the country’s rape crisis, as the survivors of the heinous crime are often stigmatised in the society.
Source: United News of Bangladesh