Dhaka University student rape: A serial rapist he is
12:00 AM, January 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:45 AM, January 09, 2020

Culprit a serial rapist: Rab

Lone suspect in DU student rape arrested; victim ‘identifies’ him

He is a serial rapist and he tried to kill the Dhaka University student after raping her in the capital’s Kurmitola area on Sunday night, Rab said hours after arresting the suspect in nearby Shewra area yesterday.    

The law enforcers also said the arrestee, Majnu, a 30-year-old drug addict, had earlier raped several female beggars and intellectually challenged women near the same place.

“Majnu is a mugger, a vagabond and a serial rapist … He raped his victims whenever he got a chance while mugging them,” Lt Col Sarwar-Bin-Quasem, Rab’s legal and media wing director, said at a press briefing at their media centre in the city.

He claimed Majnu admitted during primary interrogation that he alone raped the DU student and tortured her for about three hours.

Majnu told the Rab that he was lying in wait for a victim on his way from the Kurmitola General Hospital on Sunday. When the DU student was walking from Kurmitola bus stop to a friend’s house in nearby Shewra area around 7:30pm, he saw her backpack and started following her.

At one point, he grabbed her from behind, gagged her and dragged her to a quiet place nearby, where he slapped, beat and raped her, the Rab official said, quoting the arrestee.

The crime scene is several yards from the Airport Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the capital, and surrounded by bushes.

The rape incident sparked a firestorm of protests and condemnations across the country. The victim’s fellow students at Dhaka University took to the streets, demanding the rapist’s immediate arrest. They were later joined in by students in other districts.

 After arresting Majnu early yesterday, Rab personnel showed his photograph to the victim, 21, at One-stop Crisis Centre of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where she was taken after the rape.

Rab said she identified him as the rapist.

“I can forget all the faces in the world but not this one,” Rab Director Sarwar quoted the victim as saying.

One of her uncles also confirmed to The Daily Star that she had indeed identified Majnu as the rapist.

Sarwar also said the suspect attacked the victim finding her alone. She fainted several times while being tortured by him.

Asked about the security at the place, he said they would strengthen it.

MAJNU

A skinny man with short hair and light dark skin, Majnu was born in Noakhali’s Hatiya upazila. He came to the capital about 12 years ago.

His father died a couple of years ago and mother lives in Noakhali, but he has recently been not in touch with his family, said Rab officials.

Since his wife died a few years ago, Majnu has been living in Cantonment Railway Station and nearby areas. He works as a day-labourer or hawker, apart from mugging people, they said.

He raped many women, mainly beggars and intellectually challenged individuals, in the last five to six years, Rab officials said, without giving further details about the incidents.

After his arrest, Rab handed him to the Detective Branch of police, which is investigating the case filed by the victim’s father with Cantonment Police Station.

THE ARREST

On the day of the incident, the victim managed to flee while Majnu was rummaging through her backpack. Minutes later, he left the place taking her bag, cell phone and other belongings, said Rab, quoting the arrestee.

Majnu then went straight to nearby Shewra railway area and sold the phone to one Aruna Biswash, 45, for Tk 500. She gave him Tk 400 and promised to give the rest within a couple of days.

The phone’s display got damaged. So Aruna gave it to a rickshaw-puller, Khairul Islam, 38, for repair.

According to Rab, Majnu fled to Narsingdi by train that night after selling the cell phone. He spent the next day at a railway station in Narsingdi and was unaware of the countrywide protests spurred by the rape.

On Tuesday morning, he came back to Dhaka to take the money from Aruna and passed the entire day in the Cantonment Railway Station and nearby Shewra area.

Rab Director Sarwar said they first held Khairul and recovered the cell phone from him. Based on information gleaned from him, they caught Aruna.

The description given by Aruna matched the one provided by the victim, he said at the briefing, adding that Rab then raided the Shewra Level Crossing area and arrested Majnu around 4:45am yesterday.

While describing the rapist, the victim had said he was aged between 25 and 30; around five and a half feet tall; had tan complexion and short hair; and was clad in an old pair of jeans and a dirty black jacket.

Two of his front teeth were missing and he spoke in his local dialect.

Majnu does not have two of his front teeth. He lost them falling off a moving train 12 years ago, Sarwar said, adding this crucial clue helped them identify and find him.

He also said, “He [Majnu] doesn’t seem to repent. He seemed nonchalant after his arrest.”

Asked, Sarwar said the accused did not use chloroform or any sharp weapon while assaulting the victim.

“There were hardly any clues and CCTV footage. We found him based on physical description and through technological analysis,” he added.

PROTESTS CONTINUE

Like the previous two days, students demonstrated on the DU campus yesterday.

Also, Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (Duta) formed a human chain at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla.

Speaking there, Duta President Prof ASM Maksud Kamal demanded the highest punishment for the rapist and said, “There is no difference between a war criminal and a rapist. The maximum punishment for committing war crimes is death penalty, then why it is not the same for rape?”

Expressing solidarity with the teachers, DU Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman said the university authorities want the rapist’s exemplary punishment within the shortest possible time.

He too demanded amendment to law to hand maximum punishment to rapists.

Duta General Secretary Nizamul Hoque Bhuiyan, university Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani, and former proctor Amzad Hossain, among others, participated in the human chain.

DU students from 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2018-2019 academic sessions, history department and residents of five female dormitories of the university demonstrated on the campus under separate banners, demanding swift trial of the rape case and death penalty for the rapist.

The students thanked the law enforcers for arresting the alleged rapist and also demanded that the case be tried under the speedy trial tribunal act.

Besides, as part of their protests, a number of female students gathered in the TSC area and performed on the street chanting “The Rapist is You”.

At the DMCH, doctors said the victim’s condition improved yesterday.

Asked, Rab officials said decisions on Aruna, who allegedly bought the victim’s phone from Majnu, and Khairul, who allegedly took it for repair, would be taken by the DB, which is investigating the case.

In another development, a Rab mobile court, led by Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam, evicted vagabonds in areas between Kurmitola and Kuril Bishwa Road yesterday evening.

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