Women rights body demands the sub-inspector who allegedly raped a Jessore woman be made the prime accused in the case filed over it
The woman who was raped allegedly by a sub-inspector and his informant, in Jessore's Sharsha upazila, did not mention the sub-inspector's name in the case statement due to fear of retaliation, she stated.
She made the claim when a 12-member representative team of Nari o Shishu Odhikar Forum (Women and Children's Right Forum) visited her on Friday morning.
"I know of Sub-Inspector Khairul very well," she told the team. "He used to come to us [she and her husband] often, asking for money. Once we paid him Tk8,000, and then Tk4,000, again."
SI Khairul, and his informant Kamrul detained the victim's husband on August 25, and later demanded a sum of Tk50,000 for his release, she said.
"Khairul detained my husband without any valid reason," she said.
Later, the victim accused both Khairul, and Kamrul of gang-raping her in the early hours of Tuesday, after they came to her demanding payment of the sum.
"But when police brought Khairul in front of me [on Wednesday], and asked me if I knew him, I thought 'He is a policeman. I cannot fight him even if I want to'," the victim told the team of Nari and Shishu Odhikar Forum.
"Besides, the way Khairul looked at me scared me," she added. "I could understand that he did not want me to mention his name."
When asked if SI Khairul was actually present when she was being raped, the victim replied: "Yes. He was there. The medical tests [DNA test] will prove it. Also, if they [the accused] are remanded, they will speak the truth."
She demanded appropriate punishment for SI Khairul, and the four people she had mentioned in the case filed in connection with her rape at Sharsha police station on Tuesday night.
The case, although mentioning the names of Khairul's informant Kamruzzaman, alias Kamrul, Abdul Latif, and Abdul Quader, and that of another anonymous person, does not include SI Khairul's name.
Police have demanded that Khairul's name was kept out of the case because the victim could not recognize him when he was brought in front of her on Wednesday morning.
"We did not threaten her in any manner when she gave her statement in front of higher officials," Sharsha police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mashiur Rahman told this correspondent.
When asked why the woman was claiming otherwise, the OC said: "Maybe a vested quarter is influencing her to make all these claims now."
Rights body demands punishment of SI Khairul
Nari o Shishu Odhikar Forum central member secretary Nipun Roy Chowdhury called upon the authorities concerned to take action against SI Khairul.
When visiting the victim at her residence in Sharsha on Friday morning, the rights body assured her of providing legal assistance.
Later, Nipun Roy told reporters: "Rape has become an epidemic in this country. From nine-month-olds to 90-year-olds, nobody is safe anymore. But no one is receiving any justice.
"The forum itself was established to free the women, and children from rape," Nipun said.
She further said: "You [reporters] have heard it all from the victim herself. She expressed extraordinary courage by going to the hospital, and lodging a case. But she was forced not to mention Khairul's name in the case statement.
"This is a clear example of abuse of power," Nipun said.
Demanding a judicial probe into the case, Nipun added: "Khairul should be made the prime accused in the case, arrested, and brought under a legal course of action, at any cost."
In the early hours of Tuesday, a woman in Lakshmanpur area of Sharsha upazila in Jessore, was gang-raped reportedly by SI Khairul, in-charge of Gorpara police camp, and his informant Kamrul, after they came to her place demanding payment of Tk50,000.
They were asking for the sum in exchange for the release of the victim's husband from jail. He, a former drug mule, was picked up by Khairul on August 25.
The woman claimed, after she failed to pay Tk50,000, police sent her husband to jail on a false charge of carrying 50 bottles of phensedyl.
The incident came to media notice after the victim went to Jessore General Hospital on Tuesday morning for medical tests.
The results of the medical test, which came back on Thursday, showed evidences of rape; however, without a DNA test, the doctors failed to confirm the identities of the perpetrators, resident medical officer of Jessore General Hospital, Dr Arif Ahmed, said.
Meanwhile, police formed a three-member probe committee, after the victim lodged a case with Sharsha police station on Tuesday night accusing four people.
Among the four, three were named: Kamrul, Abdul Latif, and Abdul Quader. SI Khairul's name was not included.