Suspended Sramik League leader Tufan Sarkar has admitted raping the Bogra college girl after promising that he would marry her, police said.
As the girl fell sick due to bleeding, Tufan gave her medicines before sending her home. His close aide Atiqur Rahman Atiq bought the medicines, Tufan told law enforcers during interrogation.
“Atiq also directly helped Tufan raping the girl,” Sonaton Chakroborty, additional superintendent of police (Bogra Sadar Circle), told The Daily Star.
Atiq, who was arrested on Saturday, in a confessional statement before a Bogra magistrate described how Tufan committed the crime with his help.
Investigators were interrogating Tufan, now on three-day remand, in a rape case filed with Bogra Sadar Police Station. He told police that he first tried to earn the girl's confidence by pledging to help her get admitted to a college.
“He [Tufan] said he was very influential in Bogra and could do anything without facing any trouble. He didn't think he could be arrested for his misdeeds,” said the additional SP.
The accused said he took Tk 4,000 and educational certificates from her, but eventually couldn't help her get admitted.
“Tufan called the student in the morning of July 17 and asked her to come to his house to take the money back. But she refused,” said Sonaton quoting the arrestee, adding the arrestee did all these to be in touch with her.
Tufan's wife Asa had been in Dhaka on that very morning. He sent Atiq to the girl's home in Bogra town.
Accordingly, Atiq reached the victim's house and took her to Tufan's home by a rickshaw. The suspended convenor of Bogra town Sramik League then raped the female student, leaving her sick, said the police official.
Wishing anonymity, a police investigator said the girl kept mum on the rape as she was afraid of Tufan's power and political influence.
“Even the influential people in Bogra don't dare say anything against Tufan. How can a poor girl like the victim raise voice against him?” he questioned.
Asa learnt from Atiq about the rape incident only after returning to Bogra from Dhaka. She then shared the information with her sister Marzia Hasan Rumki, a woman ward councillor in Bogra.
The two women engaged some cadres of Tufan and Rumki in bringing the girl and her mother to their home. The cadres went to the victim's house, but found nobody there.
The victim and her mother returned to Bogra from the capital on Friday only to be picked up by the cadres and taken to Tufan's house. The two faced inhuman tortured for about four hours and their heads were shaved by a barber.
The victims on the same day went to Bogra Sadar Police Station to file a torture case against Asa, Rumki and others. But the girl still didn't disclose the rape incident.
As the two victims started describing the torture incident, police came to know that they were taken to Tufan's house. The two were then grilled separately.
“The girl at one stage disclosed that Tufan raped her,” said an official of the police station.
Additional SP Sonaton said they didn't arrest Tufan immediately. “We first picked up Atiq to be sure about the rape incident. We arrested Tufan after Atiq confessed the crime.”
Mother of the student on Saturday night filed two cases against Tufan, Asha, Rumki, Rumi, Atiq, Munna, Ali Azam Dipu, Rupom, Shimul and Zitu under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and the Bangladesh Penal Code.
Sources at Bogra Sadar Police Station said police called in Tufan and Atiq and grilled them separately on the rape incident after the cases were filed.
Law enforcers blindfolded Atiq and produced him before Tufan. As Atiq described the July 17 incident, Tufan admitted that he made a mistake and would marry the college girl.
STORY BEING MADE UP?
Some locals alleged that a group of people, including family members of Tufan, were trying to make up a story that the victim girl was in a relationship with the Sramik League leader and was planning to marry him.
They were telling that the girl went to Tufan's house with bad intentions and no rape incident took place there. They were also arguing that neither the girl nor her mother filed any complaint with police for 11 days.
“I also heard some people speaking about the incident. But nothing can save the accused,” said Additional SP Sonaton.
The college girl and accused Tufan and Atiq already gave statements to police about the rape incident, he added.
Bogra police Superintendent Md Asaduzzaman said the victim is an underaged girl and having sex with an underaged girl is illegal.
SEVEN MORE REMANDED
A Bogra court yesterday placed seven more arrestees on remand in the rape case. They are Tufan's wife Asa, his two associates Munna and Zitu, sister-in-law Rumki, mother-in-law Rumi, father-in-law Jamirur Rahman Runu and barber Jiban.
Asa, Munna and Zitu were arrested from Savar's Hemayetpur while Rumki and Rumi from Pabna and Runu from Bogra town on Sunday night.
Police produced them before Bogra Chief Judicial Magistrate Shyam Sundar Roy seeking seven-day remand for each. The court, however, granted four-day remand for Rumki and two-day for others each.
Police picked up Jiban from the town's Badurtola area around 3:00pm yesterday on charge of shaving the heads of the two victims.
Law enforcers arrested Atiq on Saturday, but didn't file any remand prayer for him as he gave a confessional statement before a magistrate.
Tufan, an accused in five cases including one for murder, has amassed huge illegal wealth through drug peddling and extortion with blessings from some local Awami League leaders and administration officials, alleged locals.
The district Sramik League suspended Tufan from the organisation on Sunday amid a public outcry over the rape and torture incidents.
Also yesterday, locals under the banner of Bangladesh Narimukti Kendra held a rally in Bogra's Saatmatha area protesting the abduction and rape of the college girl. Speakers at the rally demanded the accused be tried under the speedy trial act.