The rape and torture of a woman in Subarnachar, Noakhali, is simply unacceptable. This barbarous incident, which took place right after the national election, has enraged everyone. And the hard fact is that the incident has come into the limelight as it has taken political implications.
In general, incidents of violence against women reported by various media are not given much importance. This fact should also be taken into consideration.
This incident of Noakhali was shocking and needs immense attention. Such criminals invariably have political shelter and get away. We cannot let it happen this time. Not only the government or the media, but all of us have the responsibility to look into the matter.
There is a propensity for such incidents to become a hot topic for some time, and then disappear. This is reality.
Therefore we demand from a humanitarian stance that this matter is not lost and that the culprits are brought to justice, no matter who they are. The criminals will have to face exemplary punishment irrespective to their political influence or financial status.
Several media reports show that most of the cases of violence against women do not come under trial. We have to draw this to the attention of the policymakers and the court.
Almost 80 per cent women are tortured in domestic settings.
These incidents of violence also have to be taken to court. Initially even the Noakhali rape incident did not come to light.
However, the law enforcement agencies can play a tangible role in preventing this violence against women. The responsibility of the law enforcement agencies is vital in investigating any such complaint and presenting the investigation report in court properly. The court cannot take action if the investigation report is not properly produced before it. So it is important for the investigation to be carried out properly.
Government officials at the upazila level have a significant role to play in preventing violence against women. Officials of the women and children affairs ministry need to be particularly more active. If they are active, such incidents are likely to decrease.
*Rasheda K Choudhury is a former adviser to the caretaker government. This piece originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat