Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Nine rapists stay safe

Serafina’s Protest in Suicide
Nine rapists stay safe
Nine rapists of Serafina Mardi were let off the legal hook as the victim and her family members gave misleading statements before a court here in a rape case, said SM Rokon Uddin, superintendent of Rajshahi police.
The rapists and their fathers were not even accused in a suicide provocation case filed on Wednesday night, although they were present during an out-of-court arbitration.
There is no scope for bringing the rapists under legal jurisdiction again for the same crime, said the SP adding, they were considering accusing them in the provocation case.
Meanwhile, police yesterday produced the 10 arrestees before the Additional Judicial Magistrate’s Court in the suicide provocation case and prayed for remand of catholic priest Father Bernard Tudu, indigenous leaders Bishwanath Tudu and Monir Murmu.
The court fixed Monday for hearing the remand prayers and sent all of them to jail.
The law enforcers seized a resolution of the out-of-court mediation, held at Surshunipara Catholic Church on April 23 last year, from Father Tudu while arresting him on Wednesday night.
Fourteen-year-old indigenous girl Serafina Mardi was gang raped on April 4 last year. Failing to stand humiliation, she set herself on fire on February 17 and succumbed to her injuries on Monday.
Serafina told the court that her father forced her to file the rape case out of vengeance after Bablu Murmu, father of Nirmol Murmu (one of the rapists), refused to allow his son marry her, said Public Prosecutor Syeda Morjina Khatun.
Her father Corneleus Mardi, sister Dipali Mardi, brother-in-law Jacob Soren also made similar statements before the court, added the PP.
Police said the prosecution cross-checked the witnesses whether they were providing false statements after negotiating the matter with the accused, which the witnesses denied.
Later on November 24 last year, judge Afzal Hossain of Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal 1 of Rajshahi acquitted all the nine accused as he found the charges not proved beyond doubt.
Contacted, Nina Goswami, senior deputy director of Ain O Salish Kendra, told The Daily Star that the rapists can still be tried in the suicide provocation case as several media reported they teased the victim upon their acquittal.
The medical certificate attested to the fact that the victim was gang raped. So the court could easily conceive that the victim and her family members were providing false statements either under pressure or following an illegal out-of-court deal, she observed.
Referring to a recent case of another victim Hena in Shariatpur, Nina said, “It is an instance of how courts can apply their judicial mind for delivering justice.”

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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