A six-year-old girl has been raped allegedly by a youth in Durgapur upazila of Rajshahi, said police. Police also arrested Nadim Hossain, 22, on Sunday. Nadim, who used to work in the rape survivor’s family’s cropland, raped the minor girl after finding her alone at her home Sunday noon, said Nazmul Hoque, officer-in-charge (OC) of Durgapur police station. Hearing the scream of the girl, neighbours rushed to the spot and caught Nadim. The girl was admitted to the One Stop Crisis (OCC) Center of Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH), he added. Police arrested the youth following a complaint lodged at the police sation, said the OC.
The Cabinet on Monday approved an amendment to the British-era Evidence Act that will disallow questioning about a rape survivor’s character during court trial handing a key victory to the rights groups who find the provision insulting to victims. The draft of Evidence (Amendment) Act, 2022 sailed through Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who joined it through a virtual platform from her official residence Ganobhaban. The proposed amendment seeks to restrict section 146(3) of the Evidence Act so victims cannot be asked “obnoxious questions” regarding their character without court’s permission, according to media briefing by Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam. Also read: Writ seeks cancellation of Evidence Act provisions on rape victims’ character “Some amendments were brought in the draft law as the digital court has been recognized,” he said. He said there is a tendency to question the character of victims by the opponent side. “In the draft law, there is a restriction on it. The permission will have to be taken from the court to raise questions over the character of anyone straightway,” he said. According to the proposed law, digital records will be accepted as evidence, he said, adding that data alongside information can also be used. The authorities concerned have been asked to translate the law (The Evidence Act, 1872) into Bangla immediately, he said. Besides, the Cabinet in principle approved the draft of Village Court (Amendment) Act, 2022 changing the provision to dispose of a case within 15 days instead of 30 days as well as incorporating the word ‘child’ in place of ‘Nabalok’ (minor child). As per the draft law, no child can be produced before the village court and the child will be defined as per the Children Act, said the top bureaucrat. He said the court can raise the maximum compensation of Tk 300,000, which was Tk 75,000 in the Children Act, 2013. The Cabinet also cleared the draft of Marine Fishing Guideline, 2022. The Cabinet directed the Fisheries Department to mark the marine fishing vessels with specific colour and number within four months as it would take time to bring all the vessels under the registration process. Khandker Islam said the number of marine fishing vessels might be more than 10,000. The Cabinet gave the final approval to Bangladesh Art-Design Act, 2022 aiming to protect the intellectual properties. The properties that go against ethics, public order and welfare of the people would not get the protection under the law, said Khandker Islam adding that unregistered arts or designs would not get protection as well. Also read: Female UP member ‘gang-raped’ in Faridpur, one held The meeting cleared the draft bilateral agreement over flight operation between Bangladesh and Rwanda. The meeting asked the authorities concerned to assess the economic aspects further before signing the agreement.
Police arrested two people including the main accused in a case filed over suicide of an attempted rape victim in Bogura’s Dhunat upazila on Saturday. The arrestees were identified as Bablu Mia, 40, son of Kanu Sarker from Rudrabaria village and Abu Taher, 50, son of Ali from Koigati village. Kripa Sindhu, Officer-in-Charge of Dhunat police station said they were arrested after filing a case following the complaint of victim’s father Fazlul Haque accusing some seven people including Bablu on Friday. Also read: Minor girl raped by 5-6 youths in Rajshahi Deceased Lipi Khatun, 18, was a resident of Kaigati village of Dhunat upazila and a former student of Jalshuka Habibur Rahman Degree College. According to the case statement, Babul Mia, of the same village, used to tease Lipi for the past two years. Lipi’s father complained about this to the village leaders aka Matabbars but they didn’t get any solution. After the complaint against him, Babul became even more aggressive. On April 12 morning, when no one was home, Babul with his companion Rafiq went to Lipi's house and tried to rape her. At one point, hearing her scream, neighbors rushed to her room but Babul and Rafiq escaped. Also read: Minor rape survivor married to 39-year old accused in Khulna jail The victim poisoned herself as the incident became a topic of conversation for the locals. Her relatives first admitted her to Dhunat Upazila Health Complex from where she was shifted to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in Bogura. On April 13, she was shifted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital where she died while undergoing treatment on Thursday.
In a wedding held inside Khulna District jail a 39-year-old man married a minor girl who was allegedly raped by him two years ago, authorities said on Monday. The girl, Sukh Moni, now 15, was brought to the jail from a safe home for the marriage around 2:30 pm on Sunday with accused Rafiqul Islam Babu by the order of the High Court considering the greater interests of the rape survivor, said Md Fakhruddin, deputy jailor of Khulna Jail. Also read: Madrasa director rapes 7-yr-old repeatedly in Chuadanga, held Families of the couple were present during the simple event when marriage registration was done, he said. He said following the directions of the High Court the marriage was registered by district marriage registrar at the jail office. Khulna Jail Superintendent Omar Faruque, Jailor Md Tariqul Islam, Deputy Jailor Md Nur-E-Alam Siddiqui were present during the programme along with other officials and staffers of the jail. “Shukh Moni was brought in jail two days before registering the marriage from Bagerhat safe home. The High Court has approved the marriage and both Shukh Moni’s and Babu’s family have given their consent.” said jail super Omar Faruque. Babu, arrested in the rape case, has been in jail since December 17, 2020 while survivor Shukh Moni, who was 13 at the time of the assault, was sent to a safe home as she was two months pregnant then. At the safe home the girl gave birth to a child who did not survive. Regarding the marriage of the underage girl (child marriage) Advocate Md Mominul Haque, coordinator of Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights Khulna said,” According to section 19 of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017, such marriages can be done in a special arrangement with the permission of the court and the consent of both the parents." “The man was caretaker of a house where the girl used to work as a house help. As she was pregnant when the case was filed she was sent to safe home by the court considering an appeal for her safe custody,” he said. Also read:5-yr-old girl killed after ‘rape’ in Noakhali: Cousin held Section 19 of the Child Marriage Restraint Act provides that in special circumstances, the court can give marriage to children, for protecting the best interests of them, with the consent of their parents. However, there is no provision for having any consent from those children while they are getting married as they are not adults.