Family members of a 15-year-old girl, who was gang-raped by four youths on January 15 in Gazipur, alleged that they were being threatened by relatives of the accused, who are her neighbours.
Rab arrested the accused on Friday after the girl’s mother filed a case with Sreepur Police Station on January 16 and sought Rab’s help.
“After the incident, they threatened us not to file a case. Now, parents of an accused are warning us of dire consequences if anything happens to their son. They are also keeping us under watch,” the victim’s mother told The Daily Star over phone yesterday.
She said they have informed the matter to the police station concerned.
Sub-inspector Nazmus Sakib of Sreepur Police Station, who is investigating the case, said they are looking into the matter seriously. “We suggested the family to file a general diary in this regard,” added the SI.
The incident took place when the girl attended a birthday party in Sreepur, where she was served a drink spiked with sedatives.
When she fell unconscious, the four accused took her to a bush and raped her, said Lt Col Abdullah Al Mamun, company commander of a Specialised Company of Rab-1, at a press briefing after arresting the four.
The arrestees are: Sharif Hossain (18), Imran Hasan Sujan (19), Sharif Uddin Mollah (20) and a 16-year-old boy. Another accused is a 19-year-old woman, the victim’s neighbour, who took the girl to the party. She was arrested on January 16.
Sujan recorded the incident on his mobile phone and later circulated it on social media, the Rab official said.
In the video, the four were seen saying, “Hello friends, we might be in jail tomorrow. So, there’s a little chance to meet you again.” The rape incident and the video sparked a huge outcry on social media, which led to their eventual arrest.
Acting on a tip-off, a Rab team conducted a drive at Rajbari of Gazipur city around 10:30pm on Friday and arrested accused Sharif, said the Rab company commander.
Gleaning information from him, the team arrested three others from Mymensingh. During primary interrogation, the four confessed to their crime, the Rab official said.
The four were produced before a Gazipur court and five-day remand was sought for each. The court set tomorrow for hearing and sent them to jail. The 19-year-old accused woman is also in jail.
According to Ain o Salish Kendra, the number of rape victims in Bangladesh has doubled in 2019 within a year. A total of 1,413 women were either gang-raped or subjected to rape last year. The actual number may be much higher as many do not report the abuses, the rights body says.