Sirajganj Law Student Rupa: 5 face trial for rape, murder
A Tangail court yesterday framed charges against five transport workers in the case filed for gang raping and killing law student Rupa Khatun in a running bus on August 25.
District and Sessions Judge Rabiul Hasan, who worked as the acting judge of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal yesterday, also set January 3 for hearing testimonies from the witnesses, said AKM Shamimul Akter, special public prosecutor of the tribunal.
On October 15, Sub-Inspector Kaiyum Khan Siddique, investigation officer of the case and the then in-charge of Aronkhola Police Outpost in Madhupur, submitted a charge sheet to the Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court in Tangail against the five accused.
Thirty-two people, including police, doctors and government officials, were made witnesses in the charge sheet. The bus and mobile phone, purse, spectacles and bloodstained clothes of Rupa were mentioned as evidence.
Expressing satisfaction with the charge framing, Rupa's family demanded justice for Rupa.
The accused -- bus helpers Shamim, 26, Akram, 35, and Jahangir, 20, driver Habibur, 45, and bus supervisor Safar Ali, 55 -- were brought to the court from Tangail District Jail yesterday.
"Lawyers of the accused filed three petitions with the court, seeking bail of their clients, discharging them from the case and reinvestigation into the case," said advocate Ataur Rahman Azad, general secretary of Tangail district unit of Bangladesh Manobadhikar Bastobayon Sangstha, which assists the state side in the case.
After hearing from both the sides, the judge rejected all the petitions and framed charges against the accused, he added.
On August 25, police recovered an unidentified body of a woman near Tangail-Mymensingh road in Tangail's Madhupur upazila. Following an autopsy, the body was buried at the Tangail central graveyard the next day. A murder case was filed with Madhupur Police Station the same day.
Seeing the news in the media, Rupa's family members went to Madhupur Police Station on August 28 and identified her from photographs.
The next day, law enforcers picked up five employees of the bus at Madhupur. The arrestees during interrogation admitted their involvement in the crime, police sources said.
The Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court in Tangail on August 29 and 30 recorded their confessional statements and sent them to jail.
Following a court order, police on August 31 exhumed Rupa's body and handed it over to her family. The victim was later buried at her village in Sirajganj's Tarash upazila.
Saiful Islam Khan, resident medical officer at Tangail General Hospital, submitted the autopsy report to the Tangail civil surgeon on September 12, mentioning that Rupa was raped before being murdered.