• Saturday, Jun 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:25 am

RAB: DU student rape suspect a serial rapist

Rape survivor identifies Md Mojnu, who was apprehended early Wednesday

In the wake of growing public outrage across the country since early Monday as news spread of the rape of a Dhaka University student, the rapist was finally arrested early Wednesday.

Apprehending the suspect around 4:50am from the Shewra rail crossing area in Dhaka, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said the accused, after primary interrogation, admitted being a serial sex offender. 

RAB spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sarwar Bin Kashem made the statement briefing reporters at their Media Centre in Karwan Bazar on Wednesday.

The suspect, Md Mojnu, 30, was brought before the press around 12noon. 

"After a primary interrogation, he confessed to raping the Dhaka University student. He is a serial rapist and a drug addict," the RAB official said. 

Although Mojnu identified himself as a street vendor and a day labourer, he was also linked to criminal activities like mugging and theft, Kashem said.

"Mojnu also confessed to being a serial sex offender who violated homeless women and women with disabilities on the streets," he added. "Mojnu said that he was alone and nobody else was there at the time of rape."

An unidentified man attacked and gagged the university girl after she got off a bus in Kurmitola at 7pm on Sunday. He then took her to a  secluded place nearby, and violated her. The girl lost consciousness at one point.

She is now undergoing treatment at the One-Stop Crisis Centre (OCC) of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Students of Dhaka University bring out procession demanding swift justice for the rape victim on January 8, 2020 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The news of her rape took the online community by storm and made headlines immediately, causing a nationwide uproar, with universities across the country witnessing raging protests, seeking justice for the unfortunate student. 

Meanwhile, the victim identified the culprit as the sex offender after law enforcement showed the suspect's photo to her. 

The victim’s uncle confirmed to Dhaka Tribune that law enforcement officials came to the OCC around 9am with the photograph of Mojnu, immediately after his arrest.

After looking at the picture, the victim shouted and said: "Without any doubt this was him. This was him...," added the victim's uncle, seeking anonymity.

"The victim was able to identify him (Monju) from a photo that was shown to her,” RAB- 1 Commanding Officer Lt Col Shafi Ullah Bulbul confirmed.

The victim’s mobile phone, power bank, and some clothes were recovered from the suspect's possession, he added.

How the horrific incident unfolded

Echoing Shafi Ullah’s statement, Lieutenant Colonel Kashem said, before sexually assaulting the DU student on Sunday, Mojnu received medical treatment from Kurmitola General Hospital. 

Upon his departure from the hospital, he spotted the lone DU student and fixed upon her as his target, the RAB spokesperson said.

Monju started following her and grabbed her from behind, holding her throat tight. Kashem recounted the horrific episode in graphic detail, adding that the culprit instantly forced her into a thick bush, just off the pavement around 7pm.

Photo shows the victim's belongings found from the arrested suspect on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

Suspect Mojnu even threatened  to strangle and kill her several times, while raping her, the RAB official maintained. 

Monju had her at the bush for nearly three hours and the girl lost consciousness at one point, he said. Monju then took her bag away, including a cell phone. 

After she regained consciousness at 10pm, she went to her friend's house by auto rickshaw and told her about the incident. Later, her classmates arrived and took her to the university's dormitory hall. She was admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital after midnight.

The arrest

RAB arrested Mojnu by tracking down the phone, which the suspect sold to a woman named Aruna Biswas, 45, for Tk500, said Kashem.

Wth the money, he fled to Narsingdi by train from Dhaka Airport Railway Station, late on Sunday night.

He was there in Narsingdi all of Monday and returned to Banani in the capital on Tuesday..

Later, Mojnu went to Shewra on Tuesday night, leading to his arrest.

RAB first recovered the mobile from rickshaw puller Khairul Islam in Dhaka’s Kuratoli.

Based on information from Khairul, RAB detained Aruna, who had given the phone to him for fixing it since its display was damaged. 

Aruna's detention helped expedite Mojnu’s arrest, Kashem told reporters. 

"Aruna first paid Mojnu Tk400. However, after returning to Dhaka, he went to her for the due amount, which led to his capture," the RAB official said. 

Missing tooth was the major clue

The rape victim had described the rapist as having short and curly hair, with two front teeth missing, which was a definitive clue for RAB.

"We showed the suspect's photo to the victim, who instantly recognized him," the RAB spokesperson said.

The manhunt to apprehend the rapist was a tough one, since there was no CCTV footage of the criminal, he said.

"We had to depend on the description given by the victim for arresting Mojnu," he said. 

Who is Mojnu?

The 30 year old serial sex offender is from Hatiya upazila in Noakhali. Mojnu left his village home some 10 years ago and migrated to Dhaka for work.

He got married, and later got into petty crime after his wife died, said Kashem.

Mojnu was completely detached from his family living in Hatiya, even when his parents died. 

Mojnu said he was a day labourer and street vendor, and sheltered in abandoned train compartments at Shewra railway crossing area.   

He has been involved in mugging, hijacking, and theft at various times, the RAB official said.  

"He is a drug addict, and illiterate."

Case Filed  

The DU student’s father filed a case with Cantonment police station over the incident, which was transferred to the Detective Branch (DB) of police on Monday night.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Begum Yasmin Ara accepted the case on Tuesday and ordered the police to submit an investigation report by Jan 28.

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