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Police on Wednesday arrested a 70-year-old man for "raping" a third-grader in Narail's Lohagara upazila, reports UNB.

Lohagora police station inspector (Investigation) Md Mahmudur Rahman said the accused, Hannan Molla, violated the girl as she went to pick vegetables from his field on 1 April.

Later, as the 10-year-old girl disclosed the incident to her parents, they tried to provide her with medical treatment secretly and did not bring it to the notice of the police due to social stigma.

However, the third-grader was admitted to Narail Sadar Hospital on Wednesday as her condition worsened.

The victim's mother finally lodged a case against the accused, Hannan, on the same day, and the police arrested him, Mahmudur Rahman said.

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Bangladesh's rape epidemic

The introduction of the death penalty for rape has failed to curb the prevalence of the crime in Bangladesh.

Ain o Salish Kendra 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 incidents were reported last year and 53 of the victims were killed by the perpetrators while 14 took their own lives, the data showed.

In November last year, Bangladesh introduced the death penalty for rape, following days of protests against sexual violence against women.

In October 2020, the country was rocked by protests after a woman was attacked and raped in Noakhali.

A police headquarters report, published in March this year, said 26,695 rape cases had been filed across the country in the last five years.

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