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HC to observe govt’s steps over forced marriage with rapist

  • Published at 06:56 pm September 11th, 2019
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File photo of the Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

The High Court bench of Justices M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Justice Md Khairul Alam made comments when the matter was placed before the bench

The High Court has said it will observe the government to see what action it would take over the allegation of “forced marriage” of a gang-rape survivor with a rapist by the police in Pabna.

'The incident is under surveillance. We will see what steps the administration takes regarding it', the court said on Wednesday.

The High Court bench of Justices M Enayetur Rahim and Md Khairul Alam made the comments when the matter was placed before the bench.

Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Jamiul Haque Faisal placed the matter on the bench citing reports from several daily newspapers.

The lawyer said: “The Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Pabna Sadar police station Obaidul Huq arranged the marriage with main accused and it took  place inside the police station premises. 

The Court also told the lawyer that they saw the news on television of the main accused being arrested and the OC being show caused.

Advocate Jamiul also informed the court that the OC and other police personnel are reportedly threatening the victim.

He also said that if action is not taken, the investigation into the incident may take another turn.

The court stated that they are observing the matter and asked the lawyer to approach to this court after one week if proper action is not taken over the incident. 

OC forced the survivor into marriage 

On September 5, a woman was reportedly married to her alleged rapist inside Pabna Sadar police station premises.

According to the woman’s complaint, the police station OC Obaidul, forced her to marry her rapist, Rasel, after she had just filed a case against him.

On September 8, A three-member probe committee was formed to investigate the incident, and the accused OC was ordered to show cause as to why action should not be taken against him.

Pabna Superintendent of Police (SP) Sheikh Rafiqul Islam confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune. 

He said the probe committee members included a court inspector, a district intelligence officer, and Additional Superintendent of Police Md Feroz Ahmed, who is leading the investigation.

According to the woman’s case statement, on August 29, her neighbour Rasel, abducted her and took her to his home in Sadar upazila and where Rasel and another man raped her and confined her for two days.

On August 31, she was taken to an unused office space and was once again gang raped by Rasel and five others before she was released.

On September 5, the woman was able to contact her family and was admitted to Pabna General Hospital.

She said when she filed a case against Rasel, police apprehended the suspect, brought him to the police station and forced them into marriage. 

The rape suspect Rasel, claiming to be innocent, said: "I am being framed. Police threatened to keep me in remand unless I married that woman."

Pabna Sadar OC Obaidul said the marriage was executed with the consent of both parties. “However, I am not aware of the marriage taking place inside the police station.”