Arrestees in Khagrachari gang-rape case confess to the crime, rights orgs demand punishment

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Hill Voice, 27 September 2020: Police have arrested 7 accused from different places including Khagrachari and Chittagong in connection with the gang-rape of a mentally handicapped Jumma woman in Khagrachhari. The detainees pleaded guilty during preliminary interrogation, police said. On the other hand, various organizations including the National Human Rights Commission, MJF, Pahari Chhatra Parishad, Hill Women’s Federation have strongly condemned the incident and demanded exemplary punishment for those involved.

Those arrested in the Khagrachari gangrape case confessed to the crime

On 26 September 2020 Saturday police have arrested seven people in connection with the rape of a disabled woman in Khagrachari. Police have arrested 7 people in different places including Khagrachari and Chittagong.

The arrested are- 1) Md. Amin alias Nurul Amin (40), son of late Abul Kashem of Taichala Para in Ramgarh, 2) Md. Belal Hossain (23), son of late Akbar Ali of Comilla Tila in Khagrachari, 3) Md. Iqbal Hossain (21), son of Md. Imran Hossain of Bara Pilak in Guimara, 4) Md. Abdul Halim (28), son of Md. Habil Mian of Adarshagram of Amtali Union in Matiranga, 5) Shahin Mian (19), son of Abdul Kader of Pachshim Bara Pilak of Guimara, 6) Md. Antar (20), son of Ahmmed Ullah of Daroga Para of Ramgarh, and 7) Md. Abdur Rashid (37), son of Shamsul Haque of South Muslim Para of Matiranga.

It is learnt in the press release signed by Mohammad Abdul Aziz, SP of Khagrachari district, on 27 September that Tk. 48,000 of gold ornaments looted from the arrested, Tk. 4,900 out of Rs 8,000 looted cash, a mobile set looted from the custody of the accused, door-breaking shovel 1 piece, 2 knives, 2 daos used during robbery and gang rape, a auto-rickshaw (Green Color CNG) without number, a pair of plastic shoes left by the accused after the gang-rape which was later identified by Rashid as his own shoes have been recovered from the arrestees.

Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Khagrachari Sadar Police Station Abdur Rashid said the seven were arrested from Friday morning till night.

The detainees pleaded guilty during preliminary interrogation, police said. Khagrachari Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdul Aziz gave this information on Saturday. The SP also said that all the arrested were from Khagrachari district.

The mother of the rape victim said that she was able to identify the three arrested persons. She said the two were calling each other as Shaheen and Farooq. She said they are around 20-22 years old. “I was brutally beaten for trying to save my daughter from the beasts,” she said.

Victim’s family members said she had been mentally ill since losing her brother in 2005 and her father in 2006. There are two law enforcement checkpoints within 300 to 400 yards of where the incident took place.

Photo: household valuables vandalized after looting by rapist

Condemnation and demand of punishment by various organizations

Nasima Begum, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has strongly condemned the gang-rape of a mentally handicapped Jumma woman in Khagrachari and a young woman at MC College in Sylhet. Nasima condemned this in a statement on 26 September Saturday. She also demanded exemplary punishment for those involved in these incidents, saying that whoever the rapists are, they should be brought under the law and given exemplary punishment.

The statement said that in the mentioned incident, the chairperson of the Commission Nasima Begum thinks that the incidents of torture and rape of one woman after another are the most heinous and heinous incident – which is not acceptable in any way. In order to protect the human rights of women, a zero-tolerance policy against rape must be implemented.

The Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) has expressed deep concern over the spate of rapes and sexual assaults in different parts of the country, including three hill districts. The MJF expressed its concern in a press release sent to the media last 25 September Friday.

The MJF says a Chakma woman was gang-raped at her home in Khagrachari Sadar police station and two teenagers in Benapole recently. In Khagrachari, criminals attacked and looted houses. On the other hand, the two girls were being taken to India for smuggling through Jhikargachha in Jessore.

The MJF demanded an immediate and proper investigation into the incidents and called for exemplary punishment of the culprits in the legal process. Shaheen Anam, executive director of the MJF, said women and children from marginalized groups and women with disabilities were most at risk.

On 25 September Friday 4:00 pm, four hill organizations staged a protest rally in Chittagong city and the Greater Chittagong Hill Tracts Student Council and United Workers Democratic Front (Labor Front) in Dhaka city to protest the gang-rape of a mentally challenged Jumma woman and arrest the rapists. The two rallies were held at the corner of Cheragi hill in the city and at the foot of the TSC Raju sculpture, respectively.

A human chain has been formed in Rangamati demanding exemplary punishment for those involved in the rape of a disabled woman. The human chain was organized by Women Resource Network, Bangladesh Tanchangya Students Welfare Forum, voluntary organization Unmesh and other student and social organizations at the Deputy Commissioner’s office premises of Rangamati district on 26 September Saturday morning.

The Bangladesh Marma Students Council (BMSC) and the Tripura Students Forum (TSF) jointly held a rally at the Khagrachhari Press Club on 27 September Sunday, demanding the highest punishment for the mass rape of a disabled woman at Balpiye Adam in Khagrachhari.

A protest procession and rally was organized Pahari Chatra Parishad’s Chittagong University and Chittagong Metropolitan Branch and Pahari Shramik Kalyan Forum at the Cheragi Pahar Morh in Chittagong today 27 September to protest the gang-rape of a mentally challenged Jumma woman and demand punishment for the arrested.

A human chain and protest rally was organized by Chhatra Dal Central Sangsad in front of BNP office at Naya Paltan in Dhaka on 27 September to protest against rape of an indigenous disabled women in Khagrachari and gang rape of a wife in Sylhet.

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