Families of the men accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Sylhet are saying the charges against them are trumped up and a powerful man is behind the ploy.
British citizen Sarwar Ahmed was arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on the night of May 21 from his residence after a case was filed accusing him of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl.
Sarwar’s wife Tamanna Sultana told the Dhaka Tribune: “My husband is innocent. He is being framed with this false case by former UP member Moshtaq Ahmed.”
Officer-in-Charge of Beanibazar police Chandan Kumar Chakravarty told Dhaka Tribune: “We have asked to take the accused to a five-day remand but it is yet to be approved.
“We cannot confirm or deny that there was a rape and that rape was carried out by Sarwar until we have proper medical evidence,” said investigating officer Mohammad Moklasur Rahman, adding that the tests were being processed at the moment.
Tamanna said the victim and her family were employed in her house in April.
Moshtaq, former chairman of Lakkhiprasad Purbo Union in Sylhet’s Kanaighat upazila, denied the allegations, saying: “I do not know this Sarwar. I am not involved in any way. Sarwar’s family is now falsely accusing me to try and protect him.”
He claimed that he came to the victim’s aid because the family had no one to help them.
The victim’s father said Sarwar had kept his daughter captive in a room for 17 days and repeatedly raped her.
“That too after promising us to help with the previous rapes that happened to my daughter,” he said.
The victim was allegedly gang-raped a few days before she arrived at Sarwar’s house as domestic help by three locals from her village. The men accused of this rape are Jamiruddin and his accomplices Ajiruddin and Mojiruddin. While the victim and her family have spoken to media about the alleged gang rape, they are yet to file a case.
“They took me to an abandoned house and kept me there for three days and repeatedly raped me. They would come twice a day, every day,” said the victim.
Jamiruddin’s family also denied all allegations brought by the victim’s family, saying “the girl was staying at our house after her elder brother got embroiled in a murder case, and her parents fled the village to escape the repercussions. We looked after her like she was our own daughter.
“We do not know what happened but soon after she left with her father, she made these false claims against my son,” added Jamiruddin’s mother.
She also alleged that Moshtaq was close friends with the victim’s elder brother and was involved in the allegations brought against her son.
Our Sylhet Correspondent Mohammed Serajul Islam contributed to this story