The verdict in the 2012 case was declared in accordance with article 9(3)/30 of the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amended) Act 2003
A court has sentenced five people to death after it found them guilty in a case filed back in 2012 over the gang-rape of a madrasa girl in Bhuapur upazila, Tangail.
Judge Khaleda Yasmin of Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal in Tangail passed the verdict on Thursday morning. The court also fined them with Tk1 lakh each.
The death row convicts have been identified as Sagor Chandra Sheel, Gopi Chandra Sheel, Sanjit Chandra Moni Rishi, Sujon Moni Rishi, and Rajon Chandra.
Of the five, Sanjit and Gopi, present at the dock, were sent back to jail following the verdict hearing while the rest, who became fugitive of the law after securing bail, were tried in absentia.
Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, AKM Nasimul Akter Nasim, special public prosecutor of the tribunal, said the verdict in the 2012 case was declared in accordance with article 9(3)/30 of the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amended) Act 2003, which states that the maximum punishment for gang rape is either life-term imprisonment or death penalty along with Tk1 lakh fine.
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According to the case statement, the girl first met Sagor Chandra Sheel over the phone. On January 15, Sagor took the girl from Bhuapur to Rajon’s house in Madhupur. There, he pressured her to marry him. But when she rejected him, Sagor raped the girl and kept her confined there. On the night of January 17, the five accused gang-raped her and left her unconscious by the Bangshai River in Madhurpur.
The following morning, the girl’s parents rescued her and took her home. Later that day, the girl filed the case herself under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act with the Bhuapur police station.
Police arrested Sujon Moni Rishi the following day who later confessed to his crime before a court. Later, the remaining suspects were arrested as well.
After the investigation, the police filed a charge sheet against the five accused and on October 29, 2015, charges were framed against them.
"The plaintiff in the case was given legal assistance by the Bangladesh Human Rights Implementation Agency," said Ataur Rahman Azad, a lawyer and general secretary of the organisation's district branch.
He said, "They were satisfied with the verdict. They have received a fair trial. On the other hand, the lawyer of the accused Golam Mostafa Mia said that they could not be satisfied with the verdict. They will appeal against the verdict in the high court."