Police yesterday arrested three people in connection with the second gang rape in Noakhali's Kabirhat upazila, but the victim said the arrestees were her relatives and they could not have been involved with the incident in any way.
The arrestees are -- Harun-or-Rashid, Abdur Rab Hossain Manna and Md Selim. All of them are residents of Nabogram village under Dhanshiri union in the upazila.
Among them, Harun is the president of the union unit Chhatra Dal.
“All three are my relatives and arresting them is a conspiracy. Though the miscreants were hiding their faces with masks, I would have been able to recognise my relatives by their voices and body languages,” said the victim while talking to The Daily Star yesterday afternoon.
She claimed that she could identify the prime accused Zakir Hossain Jahir, even though he too was wearing a mask.
Mirza Md Hasan, officer-in-charge of Kabirhat Police Station, however, said police arrested the three as Zakir made a confessional statement before a Noakhali court yesterday, where he named several people including the three.
Asked about the victim's claim, the OC questioned how she could make such a claim whereas the case statement read that she could not recognise anyone except for Zakir.
Asked whether the three arrestees had any political connection, the policeman said he did not know anything in this regard.
Early Saturday, the mother of three was allegedly gang raped. The wife of a BNP activist, who was arrested before the December 30 election, is undergoing treatment at Noakhali General Hospital.
The woman said seven men had broken into her village home around 1:30am while she and her three children were asleep.
Holding the children hostage at knifepoint, the men tied her hands and legs and three of them raped her. The men also took away the valuables from her house, she added.
She recognised one of the alleged rapists and filed a case accusing him and several unnamed people. Police on Saturday arrested Zakir.
Protesting the rape incident, people from all walks of life formed a human chain at Samity Bazar of Kabirhat upazila yesterday morning. The protesters demanded exemplary punishment to the rapists regardless of their political identities and influence.
They also asked not to harass general people with an intention to divert the course of the case into a different direction.
Earlier in late December, a similar gang rape of a woman in Subarnachar upazila in the same district, allegedly for casting her vote for “sheaf of paddy”, the electoral symbol of BNP, sparked outrage across the country.