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Stop sheltering rapists

GreenWatch Desk Op-Ed 2024-02-06, 6:31pm

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It is incredibly concerning that some of our universities, that are to be the flag-bearers of education and progress, have instead become breeding grounds for heinous crimes and a grotesque culture of harassment and bullying. Look no further than Jahangirnagar University, where this Saturday, a woman was raped within the premises.

And while bringing the perpetrators of this abhorrent act to book and punishing them to the fullest extent of the law is the bare minimum, it does not address the systemic issues that plague many of our universities.
As detailed in reports, the prime accused has been staying in the university halls illegally for over a year. This is not an isolated phenomenon; there are quite literally thousands of illegal students on the premises, enjoying an astonishing level of impunity due to their allegiance with powerful individuals and the ruling party.
This level of impunity these individuals enjoy means they not only harass other students and make their academic life miserable but, as is clear from this incident, blind them with power to the point where they think they can even get away with raping another student.
We have just witnessed an election, and the government has made lofty claims of transforming Bangladesh. If we are expected to take them seriously, then weeding out the toxicity from our public universities is among the first tasks they must undertake. Failure to do so will keep our universities from becoming the positive places of progress they are meant to be to further our nation.
No longer must our university halls be breeding grounds for rapists and criminals who, simply because they hold certain positions and are affiliated with those wielding power, feel that they are free to act as they desire. Enough is enough.