Police say they have identified the perpetrators and are now conducting drives to arrest them
A woman has allegedly been gang-raped by a group of Chhatra League men on the hostel premises of Murari Chand (MC) College in Sylhet.
The incident took place on Friday night when she was visiting the place with her husband.
Following the incident, the woman’s husband filed a case at Shah Paran police station against eight to nine people citing six names, said Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abdul Kayum Chowdhury.
Jyotirmoy Sarker, additional deputy commissioner (media) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP), said: "Police have identified the perpetrators and are now conducting drives to arrest them.”
The accused have been identified as — M Saifur Rahman, Shah Mahbuur Rahman Rony, Tarek Ahmad, Arjun Laskar, Robiul Islam, and Mahfuzur Rahman.
Of the accused, only Mahfuzur Rahman is a current student of the college and the remaining five had their studentship cancelled several years ago, confirms Saleh Ahmed, principal of MC College.
All of them have been staying at the hostel although the institution and its dormitory were closed for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to campus sources, they are all followers of Ranjit Sarker, former youth and sports affairs secretary of Sylhet district unit Awami League, but they do not hold any post as there aren’t any committees of the unit in the college.
Soon after the incident, Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) Deputy Commissioner (south) Mohammad Sohel Reza and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) 9 Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Samiul Alam visited the spot.
Police conducted a drive at the hostel early Saturday and recovered a locally-made gun, four machetes, and a knife from the room of Saifur.
OC Kayum said an arms case will also be filed against the accused.
What happened Friday night?
The woman along with her husband were visiting the college campus in Sylhet’s Tilagarh. At one point in the night, their car was intercepted by a group of youths.
They forcefully dragged the woman’s husband out of the car and bound him down near the hostel, before raping her inside the car, said Jyotirmoy Sarker, additional deputy commissioner (media) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP).
Informed, police rescued the couple around 10:30pm and admitted the woman to the One-stop Crisis Centre at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College and Hospital.
Students protest over MC College rape
Agitated students on Saturday gathered before the Sylhet's Murari Chand (MC) College to protest Friday night’s heinous gang-rape incident inside the college premises.
Protesters under the banner “General Students” congregated outside the college main gate and began demonstrating at 12pm.
During the protest, the students burned tires and obstructed the Sylhet-Tamabil Highway which halted vehicular movement completely.
Police personnel were deployed to avoid any untoward situation in the area.
The students withdrew from their demonstration after an hour at 1pm after receiving assurances, from college principal Saleh Ahmed, of exemplary punishment for all those involved in the heinous crime.
Probe committee formed
Principal Saleh Ahmed said a three-member committee has already been formed by the college authorities to ensure a proper investigation into the incident.
The committee headed by Professor Anwar Hossain has been asked to submit its report within a week after the decision was taken at a meeting of the college academic council.
Meanwhile, Mahfuzur Rahman, one of the accused and a student of the college has been suspended from the college for the alleged involvement in the incident.
Besides, two guards responsible for college security have also been suspended for their negligence in duty.
Chhatra League demands justice
“Bangladesh Chhatra League demands exemplary punishment of the culprits also who occupied the dormitory amid Covid-19 pandemic closure and did such a heinous thing,” said Lekhak Bhattacharjee, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League.
“There hadn’t been any Chhatra League committee at Sylhet’s MC College for the last seven to eight years. The last committee was dissolved because of an unwanted incident,” he added.
Lekhak claimed: “The accused are neither leaders nor activist of our organization. We have checked and we can confirm that they are not Chhatra League.”