A teenager went missing on Wednesday evening as a big good-laden boat had collided with a trawler in the River Dhanu of Netrakona.
The missing, 16-year-old, Sohel Mia is the son of Fazil Mia of Khaliajuri upazila.
Khaliajuri Police Statio Inspector Md Alimur confirmed this and said the boy was returning from Kishoreganj in a trawler while a big good-laden boat hit it.
"Three people fell off the trawler instantly. Two of them managed to swim ashore but Sohel went missing."
Divers have been operating drives to find the teen, Alimur said.
Three youths were held on Wednesday for "gang-raping" two schoolgirls in Panchagarh's Tetulia amid the widespread protests and announcement of the death penalty for sexual assault against women.
The victims' fathers filed two cases over the incident accusing five people.
"Three accused – Omar Faruk Imon, 26, Md Sohag, 22, and Anowar Hossain, 26 – have been arrested so far. We are trying to nab the other two, Officer-in-Charge of Tetulia Model Police Station Md Jahurul Islam said.
The girls went with Anowar to Tetulia on Tuesday to visit some places. At the end of the day, the three accused took the teenagers to the house of some Abbas Ali. This where the five accused gang-raped the teenagers.
The youths fled as the girls fell sick. The teenagers' family members rescued them in the dead of night on that day and informed the police, sources said.
The victims were sent to Adhunik Sadar Hospital in Panchagarh for medical tests, police said.
Rape in Bangladesh
Sexual harassment has turned out to be the most dangerous menace in the country in recent days due to various reasons, including a culture of impunity and moral degradation.
According to Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), 975 women were raped, 208 of whom were subjected to gang-rape, from January to September 30 this year.
Of them, 45 were killed after rape and 12 others killed themselves.
ASK also said, 161 women were subjected to sexual harassment and 12 of them took their own lives during the period.
Three women and nine men were killed for protesting the incidents of sexual harassment, it added.
Also, 627 children were raped and 20 boys were molested while 21 women fell victims to acid attacks.
Death for rape
The much-talked-about Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2020 was passed in Parliament on November 17 for ensuring the death penalty as the highest punishment for the crime of rape.
The bill was amended to incorporate death penalty as the maximum punishment in rape cases.
In the proposed law, the punishment for rape is the death penalty or life imprisonment.
According to Article 9 (1) of the existing Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000, the punishment for rape is life imprisonment.
This was earlier promulgated through an ordinance on October 13 as the parliament was not in session, in the face of populist demands to ensure the death penalty for rapists.
As per the legal obligation, the ordinance was placed in the parliament for its approval by Law Minister Anisul Huq.
The ordinance was issued following waves of anti-rape demonstrations across Bangladesh after a series of heinous rapes, most notably the gang rape of a housewife in Noakhali's Begumganj upazila, which was videoed by the perpetrators and later the video turned up on the internet, which went viral.
The incident occurred at Joykrishnapur village under Eklashpur union of the upazila on September 2.
A retired official of Chattogram Port seeks the Prime Minister’s intervention to save his son from what, he said, the “wrath of KDS Group”.
Moazzem Hossain Khan, a former Chattogram Port Harbour Master, came up with the plea at a press conference at Chattogram Press Club.
Moazzem Hossain alleged that the KDS Group filed 26 “false” cases against his son as he quit the company.
In a written statement, Moazzem said: “KDS Group has been harassing his son Munir Hossain Khan, the company’s former director, by sending him into jail and implicating him in 26 false cases since he quit the company and joined another.”
“Munir is a Bangladesh-born US citizen who joined the KDS Group in 2007 as its executive director quitting the job of Bank of America at the request of his school-friend and the company’s managing directors Selim Rahman,” said Moazzem.
As he played an important role in the progress of the company over the years, Munir was promoted from executive director to its paid director.
However, Moazzem said, his son quit the job of the KDS in 2018 as he was humiliated by one of the owners of the company.
Later, he said, Munir joined another company, Apollo Steel, as a consultant which gained huge success under his leadership, making the KDS Group owners angry.
Moazzem claimed that his son was given threats at different times so that he quits Apollo Steel.
As Munir did not leave the job, he said, KDS filed a case against his son on November 25, 2019 with Bayazid Bostami Police Station in Chittagong on ‘false charges’ of stealing a vehicle of the company.
Moazzem, a former Chattogram Port Harbour Master, said his son was arrested in the case and placed on remand thrice.
Later, he said, the company filed 25 more cases with different police stations in Dhaka and Chattogram against him on different ‘false charges’, including embezzlement of money through bills and payment vouchers, only to keep him in jail.
“Munir didn’t embezzle any money from KDS. My younger son and I have also been implicated in the cases though we don’t have any connection with the company. They did it with an aim to refrain us from trying to free my son from jail on bail,” he said.
“KDS activities have manifested that their cases are motivated and baseless. As they’ve huge money, they’re harassing us using the administration. So, we seek the Prime Minister’s intervention to save my son from the wrath of KDS,” Moazzem added.
Two men accused of gang-raping a woman in Magura Sadar Upazila have been arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).
The arrestees were identified as Zahidul Islam, son of Ashraf Hossain, and Asad Molla, son of Golam Rasul Molla of Sadar upazila.
Rab arrested them on Monday night from Batika Bazar in Sadar upazila. After the victim identified the perpetrators, they were handed over to Sadar Police Station on Tuesday night, according to a media release from Rab-6.
The 45-year-old victim, who came to Magura with her husband to work as a farmhand, was gang-raped by five youths at Jagla village in Sadar upazila.
The rapists tied the man to a tree and violated the woman. The victim filed a case against five people on Sunday afternoon.
The miscreants also threatened the couple and told them to keep silent. But the couple informed the villagers about the ordeal and filed the case.
Bangladesh saw a sharp rise in sexual violence and rape incidents in recent months. Nearly 1,000 rape cases, including over 200 gang rapes, were reported between January and September, according to Ain o Salish Kendra.
But the actual number is thought to be higher since many victims of sexual violence do not report the assaults.
The gang rape of two women in Sylhet and Noakhali sparked countrywide protests last month, prompting the government to add death penalty as the highest punishment for rape.
The 'Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2020' was cleared by the Parliament on Nov 17.
According to Human Rights Watch, the conviction rate for rape in Bangladesh is below 1 percent.
Marking the 'International Day of Eliminating Violence Against Women', Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said the government, under visionary woman leader Sheikh Hasina, is pledge-bound to build a safer society for women and girls.
He said Bangladesh considers sexual violence against women a social evil. “Its prevention requires a “whole of society approach”," he said in the message.
“Bangladesh government maintains a strong position against all forms of sexual violence against women and has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to counter this menace through socio-economic, legal, and technological interventions,” the Foreign Minister said.
The Uttara Ganabhaban, a popular tourist attraction in Natore, has been reopened after eight months.
It will remain open from 10am to 5pm. Deputy Commissioner Md Shahriaz opened the main gate on Monday noon.
The coronavirus outbreak forced the authorities concerned to shut the tourist attraction. “Hundreds of people came here everyday but they were not allowed to enter. Many of them requested us to reopen it,” he said.
At the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh, the government announced a months-long general holiday and shut offices and business to prevent the spread of the virus.
Uttara Ganabhaban, known as the Dighapatia Rajbari, shut its door to visitors on March 19 amid the coronavirus outbreak.
But the country is bracing for a possible second wave of coronavirus and the Prime Minister has requested everyone to properly follow health guidelines all the while assuring them that the government would procure a vaccine as soon as it is available.
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90 percent effective. Bangladesh has signed a deal for 30 million doses of the vaccine once it is ready.
Meanwhile, the government has adopted a ‘no mask, no service’ policy and plans to go for tougher punishment to force people to wear masks to stop the resurgence of Covid-19.
Deputy Commissioner Shahriaz said no-one would be allowed to enter Ganabhaban without wearing masks.
“Other health guidelines must also be followed and no more than 10 people will be permitted to enter at once,” he said.