Following the news of the Banani rape case, the Dhaka Tribune reached out to the plaintiffs to understand the extent of the brutality of their ordeal that occurred on March 28. Since the police confirmed the authenticity of their allegations on Friday, this is the story of two young women and one horrific night.
Having been friends with Shadman Sakif for two years, one of the plaintiffs was introduced to Shafaat Ahmed two weeks before the incident. Shadman took them to meet Shafaat at Picasso restaurant where he invited the two young women to his birthday party at the Raintree hotel.
Arrival at the party
On the night of March 28, Shafaat kept calling both the young women incessantly. Trying to convince the girls to come to Raintree, Shafaat kept saying they are his “special friends” and telling them he would not cut his birthday cake without them.
The girls tried to avoid going saying it was late and they did not really want to go but Shafaat had already sent his car along with his bodyguard to pick them up.
The girls were compelled to attend, invited two other friends – a doctor and another student – who arrived half an hour later to the hotel.
‘The birthday party’
From both the young women’s accounts, it seems as though the entire party was a setup.
Having arrived at the hotel rooftop at 9pm, there were only Nayeem, Shafaat, his bodyguard, Shafaat’s driver Billal, two girls named Nazia and Tanzila.
When greeting Shafaat on his birthday, he told the young women to stay at the room he booked for his birthday but they refused and said they will go home after the party.
The plaintiffs were talking with their two other friends when they realised that Nayeem and Shafaat were disappearing with the two girls for a long time and then coming back again.
The plaintiff’s doctor friend said something was amiss and he was not comfortable and the whole group were just about ready to leave when Nayeem called him in and said he wanted to talk to him in private.
Things suddenly took a dark turn when the doctor was confronted by Nayeem and Shafaat’s bodyguard in the room. With the gun pointed at his face, the doctor was told to do exactly what they said. They took his car keys and ordered him to get all the girls down to the room.
The doctor – afraid of what might happen – did what he was told and asked the girls to come with him to the room. The minute they got to the room, the doctor and the other girl were locked into the living room part of the suite while the two plaintiffs where locked into the bedroom.
Shafaat and Nayeem brought the doctor into the bedroom and physically assaulted him forcing him to say things like “I am a drug dealer and I brought these girls here to rape them.”
The two men began raping the plaintiffs while they made the doctor videotape it three times. Because he was crying and shaking, the videos were not coming out the way Shafaat wanted. So he made his driver Billal take over.
The two young women were mercilessly beaten and raped. One of them was gang raped by Nayeem and Shafaat while driver Billal videotaped the ordeal. She was bleeding and screaming but the duo did not stop.
Every time they protested, the girls were beaten. Shafaat would say things like “I have been accused in 20 murder cases and I am untouchable.” The boasts followed with things such as “I am the biggest smuggler in Bangladesh.”
While being raped, one of the plaintiffs kept saying she wanted to die and asked Shafaat and Nayeem to end her misery but they just laughed at her.
One of the young women said the men where high on yaba for three days straight. Shadman Sakif left at midnight knowing full well what is happening. The set-up was underway and he had done his job.
Their ordeal finally ended when one of the plaintiffs could no longer walk and was bleeding. They checked out of the hotel at 9am telling the girls if they said anything the videos would be released publicly.
While dropping them home, Shafaat told the girls they had full control over them now, and whenever he called they would have to be at his beck and call or the rape videos would be released online.