Gang rape in Khulna GRP station

Advocate Mominul Islam, the woman’s lawyer, submitted the documents at the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal 3 yesterday morning, on behalf and in presence of the victim

After medical report confirmed her sexual violation, the victim of a gang rape has filed, at a Khulna court, a formal complaint against five railway policemen, only to face new and bigger complications.

Her lawyer Advocate Mominul Islam submitted the documents at the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal 3 yesterday morning, on behalf and in presence of the victim.

He said: “The victim’s medical report mentions that all signs of her rape has been found, and because of that we have filed the complaint over gang rape.

“We will now move [the court] for DNA tests.”

However, the luck to make that happen sort of ran out a bit for the plaintiff later in the afternoon, when the tribunal heard the complaint and said it would not be able accept it as the place of the incident – Khulna Government Railway Police Station – does not falls under its jurisdiction.

The reported gang rape took place inside the station between the night of August 2 and early hours of August 3, after the woman was detained on theft charges.

The GRP station in question sits right outside the area where Khulna police station’s jurisdiction ends, subsequently putting it outside the tribunal’s jurisdiction – and leaving it under the jurisdiction of the Bangladesh Railway authorities and Pakshi district railway police.

Because of that, Mominul said, the tribunal’s Judge Md Mohiduzzaman yesterday did not give any order on the gang rape complaint and referred it to the district’s Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal 1.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Advocate Farid Ahmed also confirmed the matter.

The situation has become more complicated as it is yet to be confirmed whether the first tribunal would be able to accept the complaint. If it refuses to accept the complaint over jurisdictional issue, the victim would not have any other way but to move the High Court, said the lawyers.

SPP Farid said: “Even I was wondering which court will try this case! The High Court, if it’s moved, will have to resolve the jurisdiction issue first, I reckon. Then the trial may get underway.”

Facing the complicated situation, the victim expressed some frustration and concern, but said she had faith in the law and hoped justice will be done.

Meanwhile, Khulna railway circle Assistant SP Firoz Ahmed, the investigation officer of the custodial torture case filed earlier over the incident, said he was yet to get a copy of the medical report of the victim and declined to comment further on the matter.

The arrest and the rape

According to the victim’s brother-in-law, the woman was apprehended by Khulna GRP officers on August 2 night at the Phultola railway station for allegedly stealing a mobile phone from a train coming from Jessore.

She was kept in the Khulna GRP station lockup overnight. The next morning, however, police produced her before a court in a drug case. She was sent to jail after a hearing.

On August 4, when the woman was in court for a bail hearing, she alleged that GRP station OC Osman Gani and four other policemen had raped her in turns.

The next day, to verify her statement, the woman’s medical check-up and test was conducted at Khulna Medical College and Hospital following a court order.

The victim’s family also alleged that OC Osman had demanded Tk1 lakh on August 2 to free the woman from police custody.

Later, two separate committees were formed to investigate the allegations.

The OC denied the rape allegation, but he and SI Nazmul Haque were closed on August 7 and attached to GRP Lines at Pakshi.

The next day, both probe teams spoke to the victim at the district jail gate. On August 8, the custodial torture case was filed against the five policemen at the GRP station.

Later on August 15, the medical test report was sent to the court.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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