The plaintiff's lawyer says they want to record deposition of witnesses in both cases filed over the incident
A tribunal in Sylhet on Wednesday postponed the recording of witness statement in a case filed over the gang rape of a newly-wed woman at Murari Chand (MC) College hostel.
According to sources at the court, the eight accused in the case were scheduled to testify at 11am on Wednesday at Women and Child Repression Tribunal Judge Md Mohitul Haque’s court. However, the witnesses were not produced before the court.
The prosecution said that the testimony was deferred due to non-appearance of the witnesses.
On the other hand, the plaintiff's lawyer said they want to record deposition of witnesses in both cases filed over the incident and so did not produce the witnesses.
Rashida Sayeda Khanam, public prosecutor of the Women and Child Abuse Suppression Tribunal, said usually statements of witnesses from the plaintiff side are recorded. However, witnesses could not be produced before the court on Wednesday despite being summoned by the police.
"We want to finish the testimony of the woman and child repression case as soon as possible. However, the extortion case is not ready yet," she said.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff's lawyer Shahiduzzaman Chowdhury told the media that two separate cases were filed over the incident. One case was filed under the Women and Child Repression Act and another case was filed for extortion.
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“Charge sheets in these two cases have already been filed. On January 24, I applied to the court to start the trial of these two cases together but the judge dismissed the application. We then filed a petition with the High Court,” he said.
Shahiduzzaman said the witnesses were not produced as the matter had not been resolved at the High Court.
Earlier on Sunday, the tribunal indicted all eight accused in the case.
On September 25 last year, the eight accused picked up a newly-wed couple from the main entrance of the MC College at Tilagar in Sylhet city.
The couple went to visit the college by car in the evening when the perpetrators started harassing the woman, according to police.
As her husband confronted them, they beat him up.
The perpetrators drove the couple forcibly to the college's male student dormitory at Baluchar. They gang-raped the woman, 19, inside the car, and tied up her husband in the hostel premises.
After police rescued the couple, the rape survivor's husband filed a case with Shah Paran police station accusing six people citing their names and two to three unnamed others.