The Home Ministry published a gazette notification in this regard
The gang rape case of a newly-wed woman at Murari Chand (MC) College hostel in Sylhet is scheduled to be tried by a Speedy Trial Tribunal.
A notice has been recently published in the form of a gazette from the Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard.
The gang rape case was being tried at the Sylhet Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal. The trial of the two separate cases of rape and extortion was adjourned till Sunday as the plaintiff's lawyers had sought recourse in the High Court.
Public Prosecutor of the Tribunal Rasheda Sayeda Khanam said the proceedings of the case have been adjourned as it would be moved to another tribunal.
On Sunday, she told Prothom Alo: "The testimony of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal was adjourned by a directive from the High Court on the simultaneous trial of the two cases."
“In this regard, we have been informed about the instructions to transfer the case. Once the gazette of instructions is received, all the documents of the case will be transferred to the Speedy Trial Tribunal and the next proceedings of the trial will be heard there,” she said.
Sylhet Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal on January 17, 2021, had framed charges in the rape case.
All the accused – Saifur Rahman, Shah Mahbubur Rahman Roni, Tarekul Islam, Arjun Lashkar, Ainuddin alias Ainul, Misbaul Islam alias Rajan, Robiul Islam and Mahfujur Rahman alias Masum – have been arrested and are now in jail.
All eight also happen to be activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League.
On September 25 last year, the eight accused picked up a newly-wed couple from the main entrance of the MC College at Tilagar in Sylhet city.
The couple went to visit the college by car in the evening when the perpetrators started harassing the woman, according to police.
As her husband confronted them, they beat him up.
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The perpetrators drove the couple forcibly to the college's male student dormitory at Baluchar. They gang-raped the woman, 19, inside the car, and tied up her husband in the hostel premises.
After police rescued the couple, the rape survivor's husband filed a case with Shah Paran police station accusing six people citing their names and two to three unnamed others.
During the hearing, the tribunal rejected petitions filed by Saifur, Rony, and Rabiul seeking discharge from the case, said the public prosecutor.
It also rejected bail petitions filed by Rony and Arjun, she added.
On December 3, police pressed charges against the accused in the gang rape case.
Shah Paran police station Inspector (Investigation) Indranil Bhattacharya, also the investigating officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet before the court of Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate Abul Kashem.
According to police, they found direct involvement by Saifur, Rony, Tarek, Arjun, Ainul, and Rajon in the rape, while Rabiul and Masum abetted them in the crime.
On January 12, the tribunal accepted the charge sheet and fixed January 17 for hearing on charge framing in the case.
On November 29, police received the DNA report that confirmed the involvement of the accused in the incident.
On September 30, 2020 the High Court formed an investigation committee to look into the incident.
Later, 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 that 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 death penalty as the highest punishment for the heinous crime.
Last year, 1,627 women were raped or gang-raped across Bangladesh, according to rights body Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).
Fifty-three of them were murdered after rape and 14 of the victims took their own lives, it said.
But the actual number is believed to be higher as many victims choose not to report assaults fearing for their safety.