The High Court-appointed probe committee on the sexual assault of the housewife at Begumganj in Noakhali submitted its probe report before the court on Thursday recommending actions against local chairman, member and the police officers for neglect of duties.
The probe body led by Chowmuhani Government SA College principal Md Abul Bashar recommended action against No 9 Iklaspur union panel chairman Firoz Alam Bhuiyan, local member Moazzem Hossain Sohel, Begumganj circle assistant superintendent of police Shahajahan Sheikh, Begumganj police station officer-in-charge Harun ar Rashid, sub-inspector Habibur Rahman and assistant sub-inspector of police Mofizul Islam as the committee found that they were negligent of their duties.
The report recommended actions against local member and chairman for their failure to report the incident to their higher authorities and local administration officer. The local representatives told the probe body that they knew about the incident but no action was taken against the perpetrators as the victim did not complaint to them.
The report recommended action against the ASP, the OC and two police officers for their failure to make the higher authorities aware of the September 2 incident before it began to circulate on October 5, after 32 days.
The police in their statements told the committee that they were unaware of the incident as their sources, community police and beat police did not inform them of the incident.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim in a suo motu issued on October 5 asked the principal of Chowmuhani Govt SA College, Noakhali, the additional commissioner of Noakhali and the district social services officer to conduct the probe within 15 days.
The court issued the directive on October 5 after the incident began to circulate on social media on October 3 and various newspapers published it on October 5.
On Thursday the court heard the 19-page probe report, which was submitted by the three-member committee led by Md Abul Bashar through the HC registrar Md Golam Rabbani.
The court adjourned the hearing until November 29.
The probe committee also recommended action against the victim’s husband and his brother stating that the siblings were members of Begumganj-based criminal gangs led by Delwar Hossain.
The committee found that the victim was assaulted sexually as per Delwar’s previous plan to continue his sexual relationship with her and to foil her attempt to go back to her husband.
The report said that the victim and her 76-year-old father did not dare to disclose the incident to anyone as the perpetrators threatened them with physical harm and death.
The report said that the victim married a person of her village 20 years ago and used to stay at her father’s dilapidated house in an isolated manner since her husband had taken a second wife without her consent and had two children during 10-12 years of their conjugal life.
The committee said that the victim’s husband came to her parent’s house abruptly after a long time on the night of the tragedy, just before of the perpetrators attacked her.
The report said that her husband’s return and his role during the incident was ‘mysterious’ as he did not take any step to save her, or resist the perpetrators, who confined him to a room during the incident.
The committee said that the gang of Delwar vandalised a tea-stall in which the victim’s father used to live with his second wife and threaten him to kill as he visited his daughter on the following day after hearing the news of the sexual assault.
The report also stated that Delwar used to run a drug racket and the house of the victim’s father served as a centre of their illegal trade, which was referred to as ‘mysterious activities centring the victim’.
Delwar tortured her to ensure that she remained his ‘sexual partner’, the report added.
Ain O Salish Kendra lawyer Aneek R Haque, who, appeared in court on Thursday with a prayer to allow him to provide legal assistance to the victim as intervener, told New Age that ASK differed with the probe committee’s finding regarding the part in which the victim’s character is shown in a bad light.
The court would pass its order about ASK’s prayer during the next hearing.
Deputy attorney general Nawroz Md Rasel Chowdhury told reporters that Delwar, eight others of his cohorts including Badal, were detained in jail in two cases filed by the victim under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and the Pornography Control Act and another case was filed only against Delwar for sexually assaulting the victim over a long period.
He said that all the cases were now under investigation.
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