A 22-year-old housewife was gang-raped by around eight to ten people, most of them CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers in Chandgaon area of Chattogram city early today.
The victim later filed a case with Chandgaon Police Station over the incident and is now undergoing treatment at a One-Stop Crisis Centre (OCC) of Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH), said Bijoy Basak, deputy commissioner (DC-North Zone) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police.
Police conducted drives in different areas of the port city and arrested eight people in connection with this case, DC Basak said at a press briefing this afternoon.
The arrestees are: Jahangir Alam (38), Md Yousuf (32), Md Ripon (27), Md Sujan (24), Debu Barua alias Jobayer Hossain (31), Md Shahed (24), Rintu Datta (30), and Monowara Begum alias Lebur ma (55). Another accused named Suman is on the run.
Among the arrestees, Jahangir, Yousuf, Debu, and Rintu are CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers by profession, said police.
The incident took place around 1:30am on Friday and was led by Jahangir when the victim was returning home from Chattogram’s Rangunia upazila.
“The victim was on a rickshaw and was returning to her house in Chawakbazar through CNB area under Chandgaon where the criminals waylaid her and forcibly took her to Moulvi Pukur Par area and took turns raping her near a dustbin,” the DC said, adding that the criminals also physically tortured the victim and snatched her mobile phone and Tk 2,000 from her bag.
“The victim managed to escape the spot and rushed to CMCH around 4:30am. Police came to know of the incident from CMCH and started drives to arrest the culprits,” he added.
Inspector (Investigation) Rajesh Barua of Chandgaon Police Station said “The victim’s husband and Jahangir knew each other and Jahangir used to stalk her earlier. Jahangir noticed her when she was returning home by rickshaw and started following her.”
“During the incident, a youth was also with the victim but the criminals beat him up and later raped the woman,” the inspector added.
DC Bijoy Basak said arrestee Monowara Begum helped the criminals in raping the woman.
Monowara, however, claimed she knew the victim from before and went to the spot after receiving a phone call from her, adding that she tried to stop the culprits.
Another arrestee Debu claimed that Suman had beaten up the woman and called them to the spot over phone.
“Getting Suman’s phone call we went to mitigate the issue but police did not arrest Suman. We did nothing. Please take us for DNA test to verify whether we raped her,” said Debu while sitting on a police van after arrest.
Asking about the claims of the two accused, the DC said, “We are trying to verify all the information we have got so far. We are also trying to arrest several other criminals who were on the spot during the incident.”