Five men, including a ruling party leader, have allegedly raped a pregnant girl in Abhaynagar of Jessore district, Agencies report.
Sheikh Saifar, a former general secretary of Jessore’s Abhaynagar thana unit Jubo League, an affiliate organisation of the ruling Awami League, is named as key accused.
The alleged victim, who passed her secondary school certificate (SSC) examinations this year, raised her complaint at a press conference at the Crime Reporters’ Association office at Segunbagicha in Dhaka city on Thursday.
The girl held another press conference in Jessore earlier on July 28, when she first made the allegation public. Alongside Saifar, she named four others – Jony, Sumon, Ajim Molla, and Rubel Molla.
At Thursday’s press conference, the girl said she and Jony Sardar, owner of a hotel at in Abhaynagar, were in love. On 10 October in 2015, Jony called her to the hotel and married there, following religious and legal procedures. Since then, they had been maintaining a conjugal relationship.
She also said that she became pregnant this year. After learning of the matter, Jony put pressured her to get an abortion. On 10 June, Jony picked her up from her home and again put pressure on her to get rid of the child but she did not agree, leading to a marital rift. On July 7, when she was three months pregnant, Jony met her at the hotel in hopes of a reconciliation.
At first, the five alleged rapists, who are known in the area as ruling Awami League men, tried to persuade her to get an abortion, but once again she did not agree. Then, Jony, Sheikh Saifar, Sumon, Ajim Molla, and Rubel Molla raped her, she said at the conference.
She further said that she went to Abhaynagar police station but the police did not register her complaint. Later, she and her mother left Abhaynagar for Jessore town. From there, they came to Dhaka.
The victim’s mother and several youths, who introduced themselves as her neighbours, were also present at the press conference. They said that having helped the victim, they fled to Dhaka and dare not live in Abhaynagar any longer, fearing retribution from the rapists.
Prothom Alo tried to contact Jony but without success. Earlier, after the first press conference, the Jessore office of Prothom Alo contacted Jony Sardar. He said he did not marry the girl and denied the allegation of a gang-rape.
Sheikh Saifar also denied the allegation, adding that he has filed a defamation suit against the girl.
Contacted, Abhaynagar police station officer-in-charge, Anisur Rahman, said to Prothom Alo, “A few days ago journalists from Jessore called me to know learn about the allegation. I came to know the name of the girl for the first time from them. Again, I am hearing the name from you. I told the journalists from Jessore to send the girl to the police station but she didn’t come.”
The victim, has however, filed two lawsuits with a court in Jessore. One was filed against Jony Sardar, and the second lawsuit was filed against Jony, Sheikh Saifar, Sumon, Ajim Molla, and Rubel Molla.