The promulgation of an ordinance under the Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Daman Ain (Women and Children Repression Prevention Act), incorporating death penalty for rape, will act an effective deterrent against the commission of rape and thus curbing its rate.
Voicing such opinion, criminologists and lawyers have said now with the amended law, the judge could hand down Verdict for life imprisonment alongside capital punishment while trying the rape cases.
President M Abdul Hamid on Tuesday signed an ordinance giving his assent to a proposed law prescribing the death penalty for rape a day after it got cabinet nod.
Immediately after the presidential order was signed, the law ministry issued a statement saying from now on the “death penalty” instead of “lifetime rigorous imprisonment” would be the maximum punishment for rape.
Criminologists and experts have heaved a sigh of relief as this may play a role of catalyst against women repression and violence in the country.
Talking to The Bangladesh Post, a crime analyst Mokhlesur Rahman said, “The message for sexual offenders is clear from now on. Undoubtedly, it is a time-worthy decision to combat the ongoing oppression against women.”
Although proper implementation of the law and speedy tribunal are required to curb incidents of rape, the rapists must not be spared, as the law is here to stand by the victims, he added.
Advocate Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association (BNWLA) said, “Those who are culprits do not seem to know anything about the law and order.”
Pornography has spread like a virus in rural areas through mobile phones. Drugs are being made easily available to youths, she said.
There is an immense gap of social values, absence of application of law, and moral education, she added.
From September 23rd to today, 85 women and children have been raped across the country, according to news published in the media.
The Human Rights Support Society (HRSS), adviser Nur Khan Liton, said, "It's not just about strict laws, it's all about ensuring strict enforcement of laws.”
“There was a law before, but the rapists did not bother. Political influence is one of the causes of these felonies,” he added.
As a result, many do not even file complaint after being raped out of fear. The law must be applied equally to all. The state must be brought to confidence by protecting the victims, he stressed.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday termed the rapists ‘beasts’ and said the government has inducted the provision of death sentence into the related law to protect the girls from these beasts.
“The rapists are beasts, and our girls are affected due to this beastly act (of some so-called people). That’s why we have amended the relevant law in the cabinet by keeping a provision of capital punishment for rape,” she said.
The Prime Minister continued “We have been able to control acid violence. Because in the past we amended the law. Now that Parliament is not in session, we are issuing an ordinance in this regard. If there is any problem, it is our goal to deal with it and eliminate it and we are working towards that goal.”