968 children killed in 43 months

Mansura Hossain | Update: | Print Edition

A total of 968 children were tortured to death in last three and half a years, says child rights defender Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum in a recent study.

According to the study, the number of child murders was 61 percent higher in 2014 than the previous year.

Persons working for child rights, and others associated with the law enforcing agencies, said the number of child murders along with rape and other such crimes, was skyrocketing. The number of cases filed for torturing women and children at present is around 30 lakh (3 million) and is increasing every day.

According to the BSAF statistics, based on newspaper reports, a total of 209 children were killed in 2012, 218 in 2013, and 350 in 2014. The number of child killings stands at 191 in just first seven months of 2015.

BSAF director Abdus Shahid Mahmood told Prothom Alo, “Analysing several incidents published on newspapers show child murders are becoming more and more brutal day by day. The child oppressors, in most cases, are powerful people.”

“Incidents of child abuse occur, cases are lodged but there is no sign of any trial. Government statements that the incidents are under investigation are not acceptable,” he added.

State minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroz Chumki thanked the media for revealing the incidents of child abuse while talking to Prothom Alo.

“There might be more incidents of child abuse which do not come to media. The offenders who commit crimes against children cannot be called human beings. The common people should stand against these offenders socially,” the minister said.

A teenage boy, Sheikh Samiul Alam Rajan was brutally tortured to death over a theft in Sylhet on 8 July.

The boy died of internal bleeding following the torture and there were 64 injury marks on his body, said an autopsy report.

The killers themselves took the video footage of the incident and uploaded it on the internet. The video clip went viral on social networking site Facebook and video-sharing site YouTube which caused an outcry.

After medieval style torture of Samiul, two more boys were beaten to death in Barguna and Khulna.

News surfaced of another 12-year-old Rakib, tortured to death recently in Khulna. He had been pumped with air through his rectum.

Another boy Rabiul Awal, 11, was beaten dead for ‘stealing fish’. He had injury marks on his left eye.

In Magura, an unborn baby sustained bullet injuries when her eight-month pregnant mother was shot in the abdomen during an attack by a Magura Chhatra League faction at the Doarpar Karigorpara area in Magura on 23 July.

The police headquarters could not provide Prothom Alo with the number of child and women oppression cases under investigation.

However, according to a Law Commission report, a total of 30 lakh (3 million) such cases are under investigation right now and the number is increasing every day.

Law Commission chairman ABM Khairul Haque told Prothom Alo, “The offenders do move away from crime because of the slow pace of the judiciary. If one got exemplary punishment, a hundred more would be avoid committing such crimes. The law enforcing agencies should be more active in this regard.” 

Additional inspector general of police (IGP) (media) Nazrul Islam said child perpetrators are not like other criminals of the society. The crimes are not committed by any organised group. These criminals cannot be monitored by police.

Police come to rescue the child and take action if someone informs them of the occurrence.

There is concern over the statistics which shows that the number of raped children stands just after the number of children murdered. According to the report of the Bangladesh Jatiya Mohila Ainjibi Samity, a total of 63 children were molested and 322 children were raped last year.

Coordinators of the one stop crisis centre at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) Bilkis Begum said, “Even a one-year-old child even gets raped. The reproductive organ gets absolutely damaged when the victim is brought to us. The number of one, or two-year-old being raped is less, but three, four or five-year-old children get raped every now and then.”

Prof Md Tajul Islam of the National Institute of Mental Health said social and political unrest is the reason of frequent child repression.

He said these inhuman activities are on because of the denial of justice in the society and dominance of debauched people in society. He called upon media to expose such gruesome incidents of child oppression.

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