A metropolitan magistrate court in Dhaka on Friday remanded prime suspect Shafat Ahmed for six days and his friend Sadman Sakif for five days in police custody in connection with rape incidents that took place inside a hotel in March.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police has instituted a committee comprising joint commissioner (crime) Krishna Pada Roy, detective branch deputy commissioner (north) Sheikh Nazmul Alam, Gulshan crime division’s deputy commissioner SM Mustaque Ahmed and Women Support and Investigation Division deputy commissioner Farida Yasim to assist the investigators.
Besides, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate director general Moinul Khan has told New Age that they have launched an inquiry against Shafat’s father Dildar Ahmed over his wealth and how he manages the huge amount of gold for his Apan Jewelers.
Metropolitan magistrate-8 Raihanul Islam allowed Women Support and Investigation Division investigator inspector Ismat Ara Ame to quiz the youths for information.
Earlier, when the duo was produced in court, Shafat was found breaking into tears and begging pardon from members of his family for putting them in such an embarrassing situation.
In the prayer, the case investigation officer stated that Shafat along with his friends raped the complainants at room-700 while another of his friends, Nayeem Ashraf alias Abdul Halim, raped another victim at Rain Tree Hotel overnight.
Terming the youths ‘lecherous’, the police investigator claimed that they used to take ‘naïve’ girls to different hotels to gratify their lust.
She, in the application, said if they accused got released, they might go into hiding.
In remand hearing, public prosecutor Abdullah Abu argued that both of the accused should be remanded to trace three other accused who were now in hiding.
He claimed the students were raped overnight inside the hotel but said, ‘what happened and who did what will be known once the investigation is completed.’
In his argument, Sadman Sakif’s defence counsel Abdur Rahman Howlader asked why his client was put on remand when the first information report stated he only introduced the victim to the prime suspect.
He said the complainant had not mentioned anything about him, he proceeded.
‘Sakif is the ‘mastermind’ of all this stuff,’ Abdullah Abu countered.
Shafat’s defence counsel Abdul Barek Chowdhury argued it was nothing about rape, rather Shafat’s divorced wife Fariya Mahbub Piyasha was hatching a plot against him to take revenge.
Shafat’s another counsel Hemayet Uddin Mollah, also assistant public prosecutor at Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Court, said this problem arose after Shafat had divorced Fariya over conjugal feud in March.
Hemayet pointed out a number of contradictions in the complaints made by the one of the victims, especially when she said she was barred from going out with her car but in the FIR she had also mentioned that she was brought to the hotel by Shafat’ men.
New Age correspondent in Sylhet reported on Thursday night that the police headquarters team arrested the two suspects in the city.
Jalalabad Police Station officer-in-charge Md Shafiqul Islam said police conducted a raid in Madina Market area of Pathantuli in the Sylhet city.
One of the two university students lodged the case with Banani Police Station on May 6 against five people including Shafat, son of Apan Jewellers owner Dildar Ahmed Salim, and Nayeem Ashraf alias Abdul Halim of raping her and her friend.
She also accused Sadman Sakif, son of Picasso Restaurant co-owner Mohammad Hossain Jony Shikdar, Shafat’s driver Billal and bodyguard Abul Kalam Azad of assisting the rapists.
According to the case statement, the complainant along with her friend went to a residential hotel at Banani to attend the birthday party of Shafat around 9:00pm on March 28 and they were confined and raped overnight.
Prior to the arrest in Sylhet, the court correspondent in Dhaka reported that the two victims gave their judicial statements before a court in the case on Thursday.
Metropolitan magistrate Nurun Nahar Yasmin recorded statements of the victims under Section of 22 of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.
Meanwhile, another metropolitan magistrate court of Delwar Hossain on Thursday granted permission for a chemical test of semen-stained clothes of the victims after an application was submitted by the investigator.
Demonstrators, meanwhile, on Friday held rallies in front of National Press Club and National Museum in the capital demanding quick disposal of the case while many demonstrators called for boycotting Apan Jewelers.
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