Gang rape in microbus
An indigenous woman was gang-raped inside a running microbus in the capital's Kuril area Thursday night. The incident happened at a time when the whole country is still reeling from the shock of sexual assault on women during Pahela Baishakh celebrations.
The 21-year-old Garo woman was forcibly bundled into the microbus by five men from Kuril Bus Stand area, where she was waiting to catch a bus for returning to her Uttara residence around 9:30pm, the victim's sister told The Daily Star yesterday.
"A youth, who had met me as a customer at the shop a couple of days ago, was among the rapists, and I could identify him if I saw his photo," the victim was quoted by her sister as saying.
The woman works as a sales representative at a shop at the Jamuna Future Park in Kuril area.
"My sister is very traumatised right now. Like any other day, she was waiting for a bus after she finished her work around 9:00pm Thursday night. She walked several paces ahead of the bus stand to board on a bus easily. Two buses did not take her as there were no vacant seats.
"Minutes later, a microbus stopped a few paces ahead of her and then, reversed quickly at her. Two people came out instantly and dragged her into the vehicle which then started running towards Uttara," the sister alleged.
They put her in the back seat and all the five people, including the driver, raped her by turns in the slowly running microbus which cruised down comparatively desolate streets. Later, they dropped her on Jasim Uddin Road at Uttara around 10:45pm, according to the sister.
"As my sister started screaming for help and hit the window with her hand bag, the criminals brandished sharp weapons and threatened her with bad consequences," she said.
Before they dropped her, they told her that they had been stalking her for several days.
The youth who had met her at her workplace asked her about her salary, and opening and closing hours of her job, claimed the victim's sister.
The victim filed a case in this connection with Bhatara Police Station under Women and Children Repression Act 2000 at 12.30pm yesterday.
Bhatara Police Station Officer-in-Charge Nurul Muttakin said, "After the victim filed the case, we sent her to the Victim Support Centre at Tejgaon to ensure her safety."
He said the victim would be sent to Dhaka Medical College today for forensic test.
Meanwhile, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq visited the Bhatara Police Station last night and requested the OC to identify the culprits.
Asked about any progress in investigation, the OC said, "None of the rapists were known to the victim. She is very traumatised now. Still, we are collecting information from her about the car and the perpetrators. Based on the information, we have started an investigation with utmost importance."
According to Ain O Salish Kendra, 123 women have been raped this year between January and March. Of them, 15 died.
Last year 626 women were raped and among them 208 were gang-raped. Of them, 64 died and 13 committed suicide. Besides, there were 81 attempts of rape, the rights body says.