Banani Rape: Shafat, Nayem, 3 others indicted
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against five accused in a case filed over the rape of two university students at a Banani hotel.
They are: alleged rapists Ahmed Shafat and Nayem Ashraf, Shafat's driver Billal Hossain, bodyguard Rahmat Ali, and Shadman Sakif, who had introduced the girls to the accused.
All the five men, now in jail, pleaded not guilty after Judge Shafiul Azam of Second Tribunal for Prevention of Women and Children Repression read out the charges to them.
The tribunal set July 24 for the start of the trial.
Earlier in the day, it rejected the discharge petitions submitted by the accused.
During the hearing on the pleas, defence lawyers argued that their clients were implicated in the case as part of a “conspiracy to harass them”.
They also claimed that the radiology and medical tests did not find any evidence of rape.
Opposing the petitions, prosecution lawyers said all the five accused were directly involved with the rapes. Moreover, four of them gave confessional statements admitting their offence.
After the hearing, Shafat and Nayem were charged with raping the victims while Billal, Rahmat and Sakif were charged with helping the rapists in various ways during and after the incident.
Shafat is the son of Dildar Hossain Selim, one of the owners of Apan Jewellers.
On June 8, Inspector Ismot Ara Ame of Women Support and Investigation Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, also the investigating officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet.
Invited to Shafat's birthday party on March 28, the two girls went to the hotel around 9:00pm. After the party ended around midnight, Shafat and Nayem raped them in two rooms, alleged one of the two girls who filed the case with Banani Police Station on May 6.
Billal filmed the rape, Rahmat intimidated the girls while Sakif refrained from informing the hotel authorities and the police about the incident, she alleged, adding that all the five accused were “drunk”.