19 January, 2021

The Hellish Fury Of A Man Spurned

New laws seek to curb an epidemic of gender violence, as acid attacks on girls show an alarming upward graph despite the death penalty

Altaf Hossain/Maatrik
The Hellish Fury Of A Man Spurned
Holding a red banner that read "resist acid, save women", Dolly Begum marched slowly through the streets of Dhaka last week. Walking with her were 100 other victims of acid attacks, and following them were columns of men, expressing their commitment to end the blood-curdling crime that routinely disfigures hundreds of young women who turn down their assailants' marriage proposal across Bangladesh every year. The rally, held on the International Women's day, was indeed unprecedented—jointly organised by the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), a private charity, and the Bangla daily Prothom Alo, it was the first gathering on a gender issue aimed at demonstrating the collective shame and anger of Bangladeshi men.

"I find such attacks revolting," said Habibur Rahman, former Bangladesh chief justice, who was present at the rally. "This is our national shame." Bewildered at the callousness of the assailants who resort to such heinous crime, Kumar Biswajeet, a popular singer, lamented: "My heart bleeds when I look at the unfortunate girls."

The scale of the crime is so...


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