Man beaten up for escorting rape witnesses | The Daily Star
08:16 PM, January 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:40 PM, January 21, 2020

Man beaten up for escorting rape witnesses

Victim says police did not take action during the attack

Police today arrested two people for beating up a man who brought witnesses of a rape incident upon police orders on Friday in Pabna Sadar upazila.

The incident came to light on Monday after a video of the attack went viral on social media.

The victim Md Abdul Alim, 36, a local businessman in Pabna Sadar upazila, was rushed to Pabna General Hospital by locals in critical condition, with fractures in both his arms and legs.

After CCTV footage of the attack went viral, the victim’s wife Ruma Khatun filed a case with Pabna police station on Monday night accusing 10 named and around 15 unnamed people.

Police yesterday arrested two of the accused -- Ashraf Hossain and Tofazzal Hossain, both around 40-years old. A three-member probe committee has also been formed by police to investigate the incident.

Around 7:00pm on Friday, a group of attackers allegedly led by Md Arif, brother of Maligasa Union Parishad chairman Md Sariful Islam Sarif, attacked Alim at the Gaspara Bazar when he brought the witnesses there to give statements to the investigation officer of the rape case, in which Sarif is an accused.

Police said Alim was told to bring the witnesses to the bazar to talk and gather information from them unofficially.

Speaking to The Daily Star, Alim said when the witnesses gave their statements to the police official, Arif and his men came to the spot and swooped on him with sticks and iron rods, adding that the police men present at the spot did nothing to help him.

He claimed he was asked to help police during investigation because the witnesses were not giving their statements fearing harassment by the union parishad chairman.

“I am well-known in the locality so I was asked to convince the witnesses to give their statements.

“Officer-in-charge (investigation) of Pabna police station Md Khairul Islam asked me to bring them [the witnesses of the rape incident]. Following his instructions, I brought them to a shop in the Gaspara bazar on Friday night, when the Sarif’s attacked me in front of police. The law enforcers did not take action when I was being attacked,” Alim alleged.

Contacted, OC Khairul Islam denied the allegation, saying he and a constable, both in plainclothes, were leaving the spot before the attack took place.

“I was with a constable. We were in plainclothes and without arms and were leaving the spot when we saw a rush of people… When I come to know that there was an attack, a police team was sent to the spot immediately but the attackers had fled the scene by then,” he said.

Additional Superintendent of Police Goutam Kumar Biswas said, “Yesterday morning, we arrested two of the accused and a drive is going on to nab the others. A three-member probe committee, headed by Additional Superintendent of Police Shamima Parvin, has been formed to investigate the incident.”  

Earlier on December 22, a rape case was filed with Pabna police station accusing eight people, including the chairman of Maligasa union parishad Md Sariful Islam Sarif.

This correspondent tried reaching Sarif over phone for comments but he did not pick up.

Police claimed the investigation of the rape case was being delayed due to the lack of witnesses.

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