Police Friday arrested two teenagers for "raping" a seven-year-old girl in Bagerhat's Chitalmari.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Chitalmari Police Station Mir Shariful Haque said, "On Thursday, the duo approached the girl and lured her on the pretext of playing a game. The teenagers took the seven-year-old to a nearby sugarcane field where they 'sexually assaulted' her."
Later, the victim's father rushed to the spot hearing her scream and caught the teenagers in the act. Next, he filed a case against them at night, the OC said.
The girl was taken to Bagerhat Sadar Hospital for a medical examination, he added.
Bangladesh's rape epidemic
Bangladesh is facing a "rape epidemic" despite recent government approval of the death penalty for the crime – not that evidence ever suggested it would have the desired effect.
Earlier last month, a police headquarters report said 26,695 rape cases had been filed across the country in the last five years.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) data shows that 1,018 children were raped last year alone, but only 683 police cases were filed. Also, 116 victims were 6 years old or below.
Overall, 1,627 rape cases were reported last year and 53 of the victims were killed by the perpetrators while 14 took their own lives, the data showed.
However, ASK's data was likely just the tip of the iceberg, according to aid agencies, who report that most women are too afraid to report rape.
Also read: Housewife ‘gang-raped’ in Patuakhali
In October 2020, the country was rocked by protests after a woman was attacked and raped in Noakhali.
In November last year, Bangladesh introduced the death penalty for rape, following days of protests against sexual violence against women in several cities across Bangladesh.
But human rights organisations say the move will not solve the country's rape crisis, as victims of sexual assault are often stigmatised in society.