The High Court yesterday summoned two investigation officers in a case in which three accused confessed to raping and killing a class-V female student, who was later found alive in Narayanganj.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman came up with the order following a petition filed challenging the legality and activities of the police station concerned in dealing with the case.
It directed the investigation officers to appear before it on September 17 along with all the case records and confessional statements of the three accused, who are now in jail.
Five lawyers led by Mohammad Shishir Manir submitted the petition on August 25.
According to the petition, the class-five student went missing on July 4. Her father filed a case with Narayanganj Sadar Model Police Station on August 6 over abduction of his daughter.
Later, police arrested three accused who made confessional statements before the magistrate concerned while on remand, saying they killed the child after rape and dumped her body into the Shitalakkya river.
The trio was then sent to jail.
On August 24, a police team, however, found the girl alive in Kushiara area of Narayanganj’s Bandar upazila, 49 days after she had gone missing.
The petition also asked to know why the three accused made the confessional statements when the girl was still alive.
Quoting their confessional statement, court sources had earlier said Md Abdullah boarded a hired boat along with the girl at Ispahani Ghat in Narayanganj in the evening of July 4. They reached the ghat in a locally-made three wheeler, known as easy bike.
While in the Shitalakkya, Abdullah raped the girl on the boat around 9:30pm. The boatman, Khalilur Rahman, 36, followed him, said the sources, based on the confessional statement.
During the incident, the girl started screaming at which Abdullah and Khalilur strangulated her and threw the body in the river, the sources said.
Abdullah gave this statement before a Narayanganj court on August 9, said the sources, adding that Abdullah and the girl allegedly developed a relationship around one and a half month earlier.
Another accused Rakib, a 19-year-old easy bike driver, also confessed to his involvement in the crime, said the sources based on his statement.
Interestingly, the girl on August 23 called her mother and informed that she was fine and she needed some money. Police then found her in Kushiara area where she was living with a youth in a rented house, said law enforcers.
Asked about the confessional statement, Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Sadar Model Police Station, told our Narayanganj correspondent that the statement was given to court.
“We have no idea why anyone would make a false statement like this. The accused might have committed any crime in the past and mistakenly admitted their involvement [in this case].”
‘SHE WENT WILLINGLY’
Talking to The Daily Star, the girl’s family members said she met Abdullah on July 4. They also said she then went with one of her friends named Iqbal willingly and never returned.
She has also given a statement to a court under section 22 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, saying she had no links with the three accused, said her family.
Police have meanwhile detained Iqbal and produced him before a court with a five-day remand plea.
ALLEGATION AGAINST COPS
Abdullah’s mother Sheuli Akter alleged her son was arrested without any investigation.
After he was placed on remand, some policemen demanded her family gave them Tk 20,000 to save him from being tortured. Later, they paid Tk 10,000 to Sub-inspector Shamim Al Mamun of the police station, also the investigation officer of the case, she alleged.
Rakib’s brother Sajib alleged that investigation officer took Tk 30,000 from their family, promising to release Rakib.
Khalilur’s wife Sharmin also claimed of paying Tk 6,000 to the policeman in vain.
Meanwhile, police in Narayanganj has formed a three-member fact-finding committee to look into the incident.
Besides, on Wednesday, Shamim was closed to ensure an impartial investigation into the incident.
Mostafizur Rahman, additional superintendent of police in Narayanganj, said they came to know that the victim was not raped. She met Abdullah on the day of the incident and then met Iqbal with whom she starting living in Kushiara.
SHOW-CAUSE NOTICED SERVED
In another development, the judicial magistrate’s court in the district yesterday issued a show-cause noticed on the Sadar Model Police Station OC Asaduzzaman and SI Shamim over the incident.
The court also fixed August 31 for hearing bail petitions of the three arrested accused and remand prayer for Iqbal.
Defence lawyer Md Rokon Uddin said the court asked the OC and SI to submit a written answer, replying to the notice, in two working days.
Meanwhile, locals formed a human chain on the court premises yesterday, demanding withdrawal of the case against the three and their immediate release.
Abdullah’s father Azmat Hossain said the girl returned safely to her parents, but his son was still languishing in jail for no reason.
Talking to this newspaper, the father of the girl said they were trying their best to settle the issue.