A Sylhet tribunal on Sunday framed charges against all the eight accused in a case filed over the gang-rape of a newly-wed woman at Sylhet’s MC College hostel in September last year.
Also, the tribunal fixed January 24 for recording the testimony of witnesses.
Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal Judge Md Mohitul Haque framed the charges, Public Prosecutor Rashida Syeda Khanam said.
The accused are Saifur Rahman, Shah Mahbubur Rahman Rony, Tarekul Islam, Arjun Laskar, Ainuddin alias Ainul, and Misbaul Islam Rajon, Rabiul Hasan, and Mahfuzur Rahman Masum.
All of them are local activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League. And they are behind bars now.
On January 12, a Sylhet tribunal fixed January 17 for hearing on charge framing in the case filed over the gang-rape of the woman.
The tribunal accepted a charge sheet against eight accused in the case and the plaintiff did not file any objection petition against it.
On December 3, police pressed charges against eight accused in the gang-rape case.
Indranil Bhattacharya, the investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet before the court of Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate Abul Kashem.
According to police, they found the direct involvement of six people in the rape while two assisted in the crime.
The accused who were directly involved in the crime were Saifur Rahman, Shah Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman Rony, Tariqul Islam Tarek, Arjun Laskar, Mohammad Ainuddin alias Ainul and Misbaul Islam Rajon.
Rabiul Islam Hasan and Mahfuzur Rahman Masum were accused of assisting them.
On November 30, police received the DNA report of the MC College gang-rape and found the involvement of some accused arrested over the crime.
Gang-rape at MC College
According to the case statement, a group of youths tied up a man and raped his 25-year-old wife at a dormitory of MC College on September 25.
The accused started harassing the 25-year-old as his husband went to a shop in front of MC College, stopping his car.
Next, they forcefully took the couple to one of the hostel buildings of the college, where they raped the woman.
After police rescued the couple, the victim’s husband filed a case with Shahporan Police Station against nine people mentioning the names of six and three to four unnamed men.
On September 30, the High Court formed an investigation committee to look into the incident.
All of the accused gave their confessional statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after they were taken to remand.
Highest punishment for rape
The rape incident at MC College and another in Noakhali fuelled countrywide protests against sexual violence against women and prompted the government to amend the relevant law with a provision of capital punishment for rape.
The much-talked-about Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2020 was then passed in Parliament on November 17 for ensuring the death penalty as the highest punishment for rape.
A Dhaka Court on Sunday sentenced three people to death for killing a woman and her son in the city's Kakrail area in 2017.
The convicts are—Abdul Karim, husband of the victim Shamsunnahar, Sharmin Mukta, second wife of Karim and his brother Al Amin alias Jony.
Judge Rabiul Islam of Dhaka Additional Metropolitan Court-3 handed down the verdict.
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The court also fined them Tk 20,000 each.
On January 10, the court fixed today for delivering the judgment in the case after concluding arguments.
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According to the prosecution, Samsunnahar, 45, wife of Karim and her son Shaon were hacked to death by miscreants at their Kakrail residence on November 1, 2017.
Shamsunnahar’s brother Ashraf Ali filed a case at Ramna Police Station the next day.
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On July 16, 2018, police submitted charge sheet against three people.
On January 31, 2019, a Dhaka court indicted three people in the case.
Police have arrested a representative of a pharmaceutical company for allegedly raping a schoolgirl in Brahmanbaria on the pretext of false promise of marriage.
The arrestee was identified as Limon Hosen Khan, son of Ashraf Ali Khan of Chandradighalia village under Sadar Upazila of Gopalganj. He was posted as Medical Information Officer at Brahmanbaria Sadar in the Infusion Department of Orion Pharmaceuticals.
Limon was arrested from his rented house near Tank Para after the victim filed a case against him at Sadar Model Police Station on Friday night, said Inspector Abul Hasan Khan, in-charge of No. 1 police outpost.
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According to the statement, the victim was introduced to the perpetrator when her elder sister went to Brahmanbaria General Hospital for treatment. They kept in touch with each other over the phone and at one stage, Limon asked her to marry him.
Last Sunday, he told the victim to come to Brahmanbaria where they would get married. But instead of going to the marriage registrar, he took her to his place and raped her.
The victim later filed a case accusing Limon of rape and threatening to kill her. She has been sent to Brahmanbaria General Hospital for medical examination.
Brahmanbaria Sadar Model Police Station’s Officer-in-Charge Abdur Rahim confirmed the incident and said a representative of a pharmaceutical company has been arrested in the rape case.
The court has sent Limon to jail.
Last year, during countrywide protests against gang rapes, the government amended the law and made death penalty the highest punishment for rape.
But the change has failed to deter rapists.
Between Oct 13 – when the President promulgated an ordinance on death penalty for rape – and Dec 31 last year, 160 incidents of rape took place, according to Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).
Last year, 1,627 women became a victim of rape. Fifty-three of them were killed after rape and 14 of the victims took their own lives, ASK said.
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But the actual number is believed to be higher as many victims choose not to report assaults fearing their safety.
A member of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) who was stabbed by some miscreants over putting up anti-drug posters, died at Chittagong Medical College Hospital on Friday.
The deceased was identified as Ashikur Rahman Rohit, 20, BCL activist of MES College.
Officer-in-Charge of Bakolia Police Station Nezam Uddin said some miscreants attacked Rohit on January 8 in Dewan Bazar of Bakolia in Chattogram city, leaving him severely injured.
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He was admitted to the CMCH where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday morning, OC said.
Victim’s brother Jahidur Rahman filed a case accusing three people over the matter.
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Jahidur Rahman said the arguments emerged after some miscreants tried to tear apart some anti-drug posters which Rohit had earlier put up on the walls on January 5.
They had also threatened Rohid after the dispute and later plan-fully attacked him on January 8 afternoon, Rahman alleged.
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Meanwhile, local BCL men demonstrated and blocked the Gulzar intersection of Chawkbazar at 11 am seeking arrest of the attackers.
The High Court on Thursday issued a rule asking why recording biometric data – fingerprints and iris scans – should not be made mandatory for birth registrations.
The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing a writ filed by human rights activist Arifur Rahman Murad Bhuiyan.
Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy stood for the state while Arifur placed arguments on his petition.
The registrar general of birth and death registration, local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry secretary, public safety secretary of the home ministry and inspector general of police were asked to respond to the rule in four weeks.
Arifur Rahman filed the writ on March 12 last year so that dead bodies of unidentified people, criminals, and missing persons could be identified through fingerprints and iris scans.