Two rape victims from the Jamaat-dominated Hazrail area in Jessore’s Monirampur filed cases with local police yesterday, reporting that masked men had been tortured them in front of their family members at their Hrishipara houses two days earlier. The men were allegedly Jamaat-Shibir activists.
Jessore ASP Reshma Sharmin told the Dhaka Tribune that they had received two complaints lodged by the victims themselves, who are also relatives, against unnamed people.
The incident remained beyond anyone’s knowledge until the victims filed the cases with Monirampur police station yesterday, reports our correspondent in Jessore. It took place during the attacks on Hindus and Awami League supporters in the area, following the 10th parliamentary election on January 5.
On the election day, an entire Hindu locality of Malopara village in Obhoynagar upazila of the same district was driven away from their homes by the activists of Jamaat-Shibir.
Panicked as well as enraged, locals are now guarding the village by night to resist any further attack.
The police suspect that the Jamaat-Shibir men were also behind the rapes.
Hazrail is known as one of the strongholds of opposition ally Jamaat-e-Islami in the district. During an election campaign last month, the activists of Jamaat and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir torched the private car of former MP from the area Khan Tipu Sultan’s son. They even prevented Tipu Sultan from putting up posters in the area ahead of the election.
Election officials had to postpone voting in 60 polling centres in Monirampur upazila alone, as the Jamaat-Shibir activists wreaked havoc in the area to foil the polls. The number is highest in a single upazila where polling was postponed across the country.
Family members of the rape victims said 10-12 masked men equipped with firearms had gone to one of the houses at Rishipara around 10pm on Tuesday and asked for drinking water. Seeing firearms with them, the dwellers thought they might be law enforcers.
When the criminals entered the house, they tied the family members and raped a woman at gunpoint.
The family members said the rapists went to an adjacent house around midnight– both situated at a corner of the Rishipara village – and raped another woman while holding the family members hostages at gunpoint until 3am on Wednesday.
The victims were taken to Jessore General Hospital yesterday morning for medical tests, said police.
UNB quotes Officer-in-Charge of Monirampur police station Mir Rezaul Hossain: “Those who are on the run following the on-going drives of the joint forces are behind the incident.
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Two cases have been filed regarding the incidents
Two housewives have been raped by masked miscreants at Rishipara of Hazrail village under Monirampur upazila of the district early Wednesday.
Two cases were filed regarding the incidents with Monirampur police station on Friday. But none was held till filing the report.
The victims and locals told journalists that a group of armed miscreants numbering about seven stormed the houses and raped two housewives on Tuesday night.
Mir Rezaul Hossain, officer in-charge of Monirampur police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that two housewives were raped there at around 2am on Tuesday.
Police were deployed there to provide security to the people.
“Medical tests of the victims were going on in Jessore,” he added.
However, Reshma Sharmin, assistant superintendent of police, Jessore told the Dhaka Tribune that about seven armed miscreants committed the raping at Rishipara of Hazrail village under Monirampur upazila on Tuesday night.
“It was not a gang-rape but one man did it with the help of others,” she added.
Locals said a group of youths have been guarding the area at night to resist repetition of such acts.
Earlier on January 5, Jamaat-Shibir activists wearing masks launched a violent attack on Hindu community in Jessore, allegedly for voting for boat.
They had set fire at a number of houses and looted some 107 residences of the Hindu community people at Malopara-Chapatala village under Abhaynagar upazila.