A rape victim was found dead in her room in Rajshahi's Godagari upazila early on Thursday, an hour after the local municipal councillor let her rapist walk free instead of handing him over to police.
The body of Sakhina Begum (35) was sent to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
The rapist, Mofizul Islam, has been on the run, while police arrested councillor Lutfar Rahman of Kakonhat municipality and two of his associates -- Akbar Ali and Merajul Islam, said Khairul Islam, officer-in-charge of Godagari Police Station.
Sakhina had been living with her two children in Rajshahi while her husband was residing in Chattogram for his job.
At around 1am on Thursday, Mofizul burst into her house and raped her. When she cried for help, locals caught Mofizul. They took Mofizul to Lutfar Rahman, the OC said, quoting the victim's father.
Rahman and his aides blamed the woman, and released Mofizul Islam as an innocent man. At 2am, locals found Sakhina hanging with a rope from the ceiling fan in her room and informed police. Police responded and investigated the matter, OC Khairul added.
At 3pm on Thursday, police arrested the ward councillor and his men. Sakhina's father Muntaj Ali filed a case with Godagari Police Station, accusing the four men of rape and provoking her death.