Anti-rape protests grip Bangladesh after woman was molested
Dhaka, Oct 7 (efe-epa).– Hundreds of people, mostly students, protested for the third consecutive day in Bangladesh on Wednesday amid growing anger over the government’s alleged inaction against rape and sexual assaults on women.
The protest began on Monday after a video of a woman getting sexually assaulted and tortured by a group of men in the Begumganj area of southern Noakhali district went viral on social media.
The video, which was taken down from social media after a court order, showed the men, aged between 20 and 30, stripping the woman in her mid-30s, molesting her, and beating and dragging her as she kept begging for mercy.
One of the molesters captured the video of the incident that occurred on the night of Sep 2. He uploaded it on social media on Sunday in a little over a month after the incident.
Alamgir Hossain, the police super of Noakhali district, told EFE that they arrested eight accused and filed three cases in connection with the incident.
The protesters carried posters and banners against rape and violence in the capital Dhaka and criticized the role of police and the government.
“We want the home minister (Asaduzzaman Khan) to resign as he failed to protect our women,” said Anik Roy, the general secretary of left-leaning Bangladesh Chhatra Union (Bangladesh Student Union) after leading a protest rally.
Protesters also demanded the severest punishment of the perpetrators stipulated in the law.
“We are an independent country and I want the government to ensure freedom for all. I also want an exemplary punishment of the rapists,” said Tamim Rainsperez, a rapper, who joined the protest at Dhaka’s Shahbag intersection.
Television footage showed protests also held in few other areas in other major cities, including southern Chittagong, southwest Khulna, and Barishal.
According to rights group Ain O Salish Kendra, 975 women were raped in Bangladesh between January and September this year.
Among the victims, 208 were gang-rapped, and 43 of them were killed after rape while 12 other victims committed suicide. EFE-EPA