A Cox’s Bazar court has sentenced three men to life in jail for violating a minor girl in 2003.
All the convicts -- Nurul Alam, son of Abdus Salam, Helaluddin, son of Jalal Ahmed, and Mamtaz Mia, son of Kashem of Teknaf upazila -- were tried in absentia.
Cox’s Bazar Woman and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal judge Md Abdur Rahim handed down the punishment to the three on Tuesday and also imposed a fine of Tk one lakh on each of them.
In case of default, the three will have to undergo an additional six months of rigorous imprisonment, the court ruled.
Life imprisonment in Bangladesh means a convict will remain behind bars for 30 years unless specifically mentioned in the order otherwise, according to a 2021 order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
However, the Cox’s Bazar court exonerated the prime accused in the case -- Nur Mohammad -- who died during the trial.
According to the prosecution, the girl, aged about nine years, was raped by the convicts on April 5, 2003, while she was returning from the hilly area after collecting firewood.
A complaint was lodged with Teknaf Police, following which an FIR was registered in connection with the crime.
On July 1, police submitted a chargesheet against the four, including the prime accused.