Police on Wednesday night arrested five youths for allegedly beating up two college girls with iron rods in Sakhipur upazila of Tangail.
The assault took place on Wednesday afternoon, and police moved and made the arrests after Renubor Rahman, principal of Sakhipur Residential Women's College, filed a case on charges of attempt to kidnap and rape.
The two girls were going to Sakhipur Bazar from their hostel on a battery-run rickshaw, when three youths wearing masks stopped them near a private school.
They dragged the girls off the rickshaw and beat them with iron rods. Hearing their screams, a local trader named Malik Ali, came to help the girls, but the youths attacked him as well, the case stated.
When more locals came forward, the attackers fled the scene.
Eye-witness accounts led the police to a nearby tea stall, where the attackers were customers, moments before the attack.
The tea-vendor informed the police that he overheard from conversation of the five, that three of them were assigned to attack the girls, and the other two were their accomplices. The police have yet to know where the two accomplices were at the time of the attack.
After arresting one of the five, further questioning and investigation led to the arrest of the other four.
The arrestees are Antor Hossain, 25, president of a local boys club, Jahid Hossain Agun, 19, Sakib-Al-Hasan, 18, Kabya Rahman, 18, and Siam Hasan, 20.
They are from different areas under Sakhipur municipality, and are allegedly supporters of the ruling Awami League, local sources said.
While being given treatment at Sakhipur Upazila Health Complex, one of the victims told local journalists that she could not identify the three attackers as they were wearing masks.
Meanwhile, students of the college brought out a procession and gathered in front of Sakhipur Police Station yesterday in protest at the attack.
They later held a rally in Mokhtar Foara Chattar area.
The arrestees were produced before Senior Judicial Magistrate Court in Tangail yesterday morning with a prayer for seven days' remand for each. They were rejected remand and bail and sent to jail, said Court Inspector Anwarul Islam.