Police have been looking for former Bangladesh Chhatra League leader Arif Hossain Hawladar, who is accused of raping a number of women and blackmailing them with threats to release the video clips online.
The accused Arif, 25, is a resident of Bhedarganj’s Narayanpur union and was made the general secretary of Narayanpur union Chhatra League in 2015 and since then, he has been carrying out various delinquencies in the locality.
According to the local residents, Arif had secretly filmed a housewife while she was taking a shower. Later, he forced the woman to have sexual intercourse with him by threatening to release the video clip on the internet. He also videoed the rape itself and did release it on the internet.
The former Chhatra League leader had sexually abused at least five other women using a similar strategy, claimed locals.
“A certain influential quarter is trying to cover up his despicable actions. A number of local Chhatra League members have threatened the families of the victims in support of Arif. We want justice for the victims,” said Shamsul Haque Rari and Ibrahim Matbar, local residents of Ferangikandi village in Narayanpur union.
No one was at Arif’s house when this correspondent visited on November 10. His neighbours said Arif’s mother lives in Kuwait and his father, who was at work at that time, is a farmer. They have not seen Arif in the neighbourhood in the last couple of days.
When contacted, one of the victims told the correspondent that Arif had extorted a huge sum of money from her through blackmail.
The clips of the rape incidents have gone viral on the mobile phones of local residents.
Being subjected to a deep embarrassment and shame, a few of the victims have left the area along with their families.
“I am in fear of losing my conjugal life. The videos have compelled me to leave my house and to take shelter at a relative’s place,” said a victim.
Meanwhile, leaders of Shariatpur’s Bhedarganj upazila Chhatra League claimed that they had suspended Arif from the organisation after an investigation found him guilty of the accusations brought against him.
One of the victims filed a case with Bhedarganj police station against Arif under the Women & Children Repression Prevention Act around 3:30pm on Saturday.
“This is the first official complaint lodged against Arif,” said Bhedarganj police station OC, Mehedi Hasan.