Police arrest one of three suspects
A housewife has been raped and tortured reportedly by three men in Shreepur union under Jamalpur Sadar upazila. The three men also have allegedly beaten the woman’s husband to death when he tried to save her.
The incidents took place in the Ramkrishnapur area of the union last Friday night, according to the woman, who has survived inhumane physical abuse and is currently undergoing treatment at Jamalpur General Hospital.
The hospital’s emergency department physician Dr Hasanul Bari Shishir confirmed that they have found evidence of rape during the preliminary medical check-up. “There are bruises, signs of torture, on different parts of her body too.”
“However, we will be able to determine beyond any doubt whether she was raped after we get the test reports. We are currently providing her with necessary treatment,” he added.
Police recovered the body of her husband, Khalilur Rahman, 35, on Saturday morning. But they are now waiting for the autopsy report and yet to determine his cause of death.
A case was also filed over the woman’s rape and torture against five men at Sadar police station on Monday night, confirmed the station’s OC Salemuzzaman. One of the accused was also arrested later that night.
Talking to reporters at the hospital on Tuesday, the woman named three men — Rafiz Uddin, 38, Sanwar, 34, and Shaon, 25, from the same neighbourhood — who raped her and killed her husband.
She alleged that the trio has been making sexual advances to her for a while. After she informed her husband and father-in-law about them, they got angry and whisked her away from in front of her home around 8pm Friday.
They took her in the woods behind Sanwar’s house and took turns in raping her, she said. They also mercilessly beat her, tied her to a tree and tortured her some more.
At one point, Khalilur arrived at the scene looking for his wife and tried to save her from the trio, she said. Rafiz, Sanwar and Shaon beat him too and took him away from the scene.
They returned a little after and told her that Khalilur has committed suicide, said the woman.
Breaking down in tears, she continued: “They killed my husband, and then they hung him from a tree to cover up the murder as suicide. I cried for help and I begged them to let me see my husband. But they didn’t.
“After all that, they kept me tied to the tree and tortured me through the night.”
Were police negligent?
On Saturday morning, the victim said, the three men hid her in Sanwar’s house after hearing that police were in the area. “Police rescued me from there, and recovered my husband’s body.”
She also alleged that she had told the police officials about her rape and torture right away. “But they didn’t take my complaints into account.
“Sub-Inspector (SI) Md Gulzar Alam did not pay any attention to my complaints regarding my rape and my husband’s murder at the moment. Instead, they took my husband’s body and me to Sadar police station.”
Later in the evening, she said, she came to Jamalpur Press Club and informed the local journalists about her ordeal. The journalists then admitted her to the hospital.
With the journalists’ intervention, the rape case against Rafiz, Sanwar, Shaon and two unnamed others was filed with Sadar police around 11pm Monday.
Police conducted a raid and arrested Shaon later that night, but the others are still on the run.
However, police officials, including the OC and SI Gulzar, have rejected the allegations of negligence on their parts.
OC Salemuzzaman claimed neither the woman nor anyone on her behalf came to the station to file a complaint, after they recovered Khalilur’s dead body or rescued the woman.
“I came to know about the gang rape through the journalists. Afterwards, we recorded a case and arrested one of the accused. The alleged negligence of duty by police officials is incorrect,” he stressed.
SI Gulzar, who is also now the case investigation officer, made similar claims.
Echoing their statements, Jamalpur’s Superintendent of Police Md Delwar Hossain also said: “The woman didn’t tell police or file any complaint. Police cannot take any action unless they are informed.”