The driver has revealed further crimes committed by Shafat and Nayem - attempting to frame a doctor as a yaba dealer if he did not cooperate.
On Monday night, law enforcement agencies apprehended two more rape suspects in the Banani rape case.
Billal Hossain, 27, worked as the driver of Shafat Ahmed, one of the prime accused.
A Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) team caught Billal from a boarding house in Nawabpur Road in Wari on Monday night.
According to RAB 10 Commander Md Jahangir Hossain Matubbor, Billal admitted during the primary interrogation to being part of the rape of the two university students at The Raintree Hotel in Banani.
The night of the rape
According to Billal, he drove Shafat to The Raintree around 4:30pm on March 28. Then, he was instructed to pick up one of Shafat’s girlfriends and a female friend from Gulshan 2 Agora and Banani Road 11 respectively and drive them to the hotel.
Billal escorted the girls to the hotel room around 6:30pm. He found Shafat with Nayem Ashraf.
The driver went back to the car to wait for further instructions. Around 8pm, Shafat called him on the phone and told him to pick up his bodyguard Rahmat from the US embassy and then to go to Niketan to pick up the rape victims who came bearing gifts.
Around 9:30pm, Billal and Rahmat led the two girls to the rooftop pool of The Raintree. Then he was instructed to drop off the first two girls to their homes.
In addition, he was asked to pick up another one of Shafat’s girlfriends from Bijoynagar. When Billal returned to the hotel, he saw Shadman Sakib had also joined in and a doctor named Shahriar was also present, albeit in a reclusive mood.
Billal drove back to Shafat’s house to park the car and returned to the hotel around 4am. According to his statement, he went up to the room and was instructed by Shafat to stand near the false partition in a shared toilet. From his location, he could look into two adjoining rooms.
Shafat and Nayem took turns raping both victims in separate rooms, all of which Billal taped on his phone from his vantage point.
At one point, Shahriar, the doctor, was dragged in and ordered to issue birth control pill to the victims. Shahriar refused, and was thrashed thoroughly for not complying. Shafat and Nayem put yaba pills in Shahriar’s pockets and threatened to frame him as a yaba dealer, all the while continuing to beat down on him.
The driver did it
Although a RAB press release says that Billal admitted to recording the crime, RAB 10 Commander Jahangir said Billal told them he only pretended to recording the rape. However, Billal also said he had recorded Shafat and Nayem beating and threatening Shahriar.
Billal claims to have deleted the footage, said Commander Jahangir.
The RAB commander also said Billal’s phone has been seized and sent to the forensic department to see what they can recover from the phone as evidence.
Escape from Dhaka
When the police case was publicised online, Shafat and Shadman made plans to get out of Dhaka and go into hiding. Billal and Rahmat accompanied them to a hotel in Ashkona near Hazrat Shahjalal Int’l Airport where they dined, after which they drove to Sylhet via Maona and Gazipur.
Shafat and Shadman took up residence at a house belonging to a family friend.
The driver and the bodyguard checked into a resort in Sylhet, but the latter left soon after. All alone by himself, Billal grew nervous and went to Chhatak and then back to Sylhet again until deciding to return to Dhaka to consult a lawyer.
On early Monday morning, Billal arrived in Dhaka on a bus and rented a room at the boarding house. He met a lawyer to discuss his options after being named in the rape charge sheet.
A team of the Detective Branch of police also caught Rahmat from Gulshan 1 on Monday night. With the arrest of these two, only Nayem Ashraf remains on the run.