Two Bangladeshi Schoolgirls Allegedly Raped, Murdered

By Shahriar Sharif

2015-08-13
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150813-BD-protest-620 Bangladeshi students and activists stage a protest in Dhaka against a 21-year-old woman’s reported gang rape aboard a microbus, May 26, 2015.
AFP

Two 14-year-old schoolgirls were allegedly raped and killed Thursday as they returned home from school in a village in Madaripur district, in central Bangladesh.

Local police arrested two males – identified as Shipon Sikdar, 18, and Rafik Sikdar, 21 – in connection with the case.

“We are now interrogating them and further investigation is under way,” Ziaul Morshed, officer-in-charge of the local police station, told BenarNews by telephone.

Autopsies were to be done on Friday, according to a duty doctor at Madaripur Sadar Hospital, where both were taken before they died.

“I won’t be able to say anything concrete about the rape before we get the post-mortem report, which is expected tomorrow,” Dr. Shafiqul Islam Rajib told BenarNews on Thursday.

The victims, Sumaya Akhtar and Happy Akhtar, were 8th grade students at the local high school in the village of Mostofapur.

There were few wounds on Sumaya’s body, but Happy’s bore no signs of visible injury, Rajib said.

The girls were unconscious when four young men brought them to the hospital at around 4 p.m., he said.

When Happy died about an hour into treatment, the four men fled. Sumaya died around 6 p.m.

Forced to drink poison?

According the victims’ families, Sumaya and Happy, who were both from Mostofapur, left home at around 3 p.m. to take private lessons at the school.

“The two boys regularly pestered my daughter,” Billal Sikdar, Sumaya’s father who runs a tea stall at the local bazaar, told reporters, referring to the two youths in custody.

Perpetrators poisoned and raped his daughter, he alleged.

According to Ain-O-Salish Kendra, a rights group that tracks and provides legal help to rape victims and oppressed women, to date this year at least 44 women and girls have died after being raped.

“On average two women are being raped every day. I’m saying this on the basis of police records. But many such incidents remain unreported,” Ayesha Khanam, president of the Bangladesh Women’s Council, told BenarNews.

The spike in such horrible crimes “is due to the fact that the perpetrators know they can get away, if they have money and political power,” she said.

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