The Murari Chand College and hostel authorities who apparently turned a blind eye as a group of BCL activists occupied many rooms are now probing how those very activists could rape a woman inside the hostel.
College students have alleged that one of the three-member probe body, a hostel superintendent, is a silent supporter of the BCL activists.
On the night of September 25, a group of BCL activists -- some of them current and former students of the college -- raped a woman after tying up her husband.
Later that night, the victim's husband filed a case accusing six named and two-three unnamed. So far, police have detained six persons, including four named in the case.
The college authorities called an emergency meeting the following afternoon where they formed the probe body.
Prof Anwar Hossain Chowdhury, head of the department of mathematics of the college, is convening the committee while hostel superintendents Jamal Uddin and Jiban Krishna Bhattacharya are the members.
Several current and former students of the college alleged that hostel superintendent Jamal Uddin has for years silently supported the BCL activists to keep control of the hostel and never took any steps against them despite several complaints.
The prime accused of the case -- Saifur Rahman -- used to live in the bungalow designated for Jamal, from where police recovered a pistol, four sharp weapons and other arms.
Abdul Karim Kim, coordinator of Sangkhubdho Nagorik Andolon in Sylhet, said, "This is a matter of great surprise that the college's probe body has a member who is under question for being most careless about the situation over the years. In this manner, there will be a baseless probe where the main issues of allowing criminals' control over the hostel will be overlooked.
"The depth of the problem is not limited to the crime of a few youths, but college authorities, law enforcers and the administration cannot deny their negligence over the rise of college-centric criminals. A judicial probe body must be formed to probe the whole scenario," he said.
Contacted, hostel superintendent Jamal Uddin told The Daily Star that he was not in Sylhet the night the rape took place inside the hostel and returned the next morning.
When asked why the BCL activists were allowed to occupy the hostel for years, Jamal said, "Not for years, but since the college hostel is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March, they [BCL activists] took control of the hostel due to lesser monitoring. We removed them from the bungalow and other rooms earlier, but after Eid-ul-Azha, they occupied them again," he said.
Saleh Ahmed, principal of the college, said, "The decision [to form the probe body] was made in the academic council. There is no way a member can influence the probe body; instead, being the senior-most hostel superintendent, he can guide the body accordingly."
SIX ARRESTED, THREE IN REMAND
So far in the case, six persons, including four named accused, have been arrested by the law enforcers from different parts of Sylhet, Sunamganj and Habiganj districts.
The arrestees are Saifur Rahman, Shah Mahbubur Rahman Roni, Arjun Sarker, Robiul Islam, Rajon Miah and Md Ainuddin.
Rajon Miah and Md Ainuddin were not named in the case, but police arrested them upon finding their direct link to the case after questioning Mahbubur, said Rab-9 Media Officer ASP Obain Rakhaine.
Meanwhile, Saifur, Mahbubur and Arjun were produced before Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate Court-2 where judge Saifur Rahman granted a five-day remand for each, said Jyotirmoy Sarker, additional deputy commissioner (media) of Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate.
"Police are trying to locate and arrest the remaining accused -- Mahfuzur Rahman Masum, Tarek Ahmed and one unnamed person," he added.