Rape in Noakhali: Nine sued except 'who ordered it'
Nine people have been sued over the gang rape of a woman in Noakhali's Subarnachar upazila on Monday.
But the list of the accused did not include the name of a former union parishad member who, according to the victim, allegedly ordered his men to rape her for voting for “sheaf of paddy”.
The victim's husband, who filed the case yesterday, told this correspondent that police wrote the First Information Report and asked him to sign it.
“I am illiterate ... I could not read what was written in it. I just signed,” the complainant told The Daily Star yesterday.
READ MORE: Mother of four 'gang-raped by AL men'
While undergoing treatment at Noakhali General Hospital on Monday, the victim, a mother of four, told this newspaper that 10 to 12 accomplices of Ruhul Amin raped her for voting for “sheaf of paddy”, the electoral symbol of the BNP, in Sunday's national polls.
Ruhul, who claimed to be publicity affairs secretary of Subarnachar Awami League, refuted the allegations on Monday.
There has been no other report of such incident from any other part of the country following the December 30 election.
The complainant yesterday told this newspaper that a police team led by Inspector (investigation) Md Ibrahim Khalil took him and his son to Char Jabbar Police Station around 9:00pm on Monday.
“I told police that former member of Char Jubilee Union Parishad Ruhul Amin ordered his accomplices to rape my wife as she voted for 'sheaf of paddy'.
“But in the case statement, police neither mentioned Ruhul Amin's name, nor the reason of the rape,” he added.
Contacted, Ibrahim, also investigation officer (IO) of the case, said the complainant had informed them that the accused were supporters of ex-UP member Ruhul.
Asked why Ruhul's name was not there in the case statement, the IO claimed that the complainant himself did not mention Ruhul's name.
Police on Monday night arrested one of the accused -- Badsha Alam.
The police officer said they were trying to arrest the other accused in the case filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.
The other accused are: Md Sohel, 35; Hanif, 30; Swapan, 35; Chowdhury, 25; Bechu, 25; Basu, 40; Abul (40); Mosharraf, 35; and Salauddin, 35. They are from Maddhya Bagya village in Subranachar.
According to the case statement, around 12:30am on Monday, Salauddin, a neighbour of the complainant, went to his house and called his name.
As the complainant's wife opened the door, the accused forcibly entered the house and started beating him and his wife as a sequel to previous enmity, it said.
At one stage, the accused tied hands and legs of the complainant and his children, and gagged them. Then they took his wife to a nearby pondside and gang-raped her, mentioned the statement.
Before leaving, the accused vandalised the tin fence of the complainant's house.
Later, the complainant freed himself and found his wife near the pond.
Talking to this newspaper, Superintendent of Noakhali General Hospital Dr Md Khalil Ullah said the medical test report on the victim was yet to be available.
CALL FOR ACTION
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque yesterday said they would investigate the incident if the Election Commission, which has the authority to deal with it, fails to do so.
At a press briefing at his office in the capital, the NHRC chairman said, “They [the EC] are supposed to deal with this.” If they don't do so, the NHRC will take steps.
Different human rights bodies, including Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB), a platform of 40 human rights organisations, condemned the incident and demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators.
They also called for ensuring security of the victim and her family.