Majnu was violent in the courtroom and hurled abuses at everyone -- including judges, police and public prosecutors
A Dhaka court has sentenced lone accused Md Majnu to life in prison in a case filed over the rape of a Dhaka University (DU) student at Dhaka’s Kurmitola area.
He was also fined Tk50,000. In default he has to serve six more months in jail.
Judge Begum Mosammat Quamrunnahar of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal 7 in Dhaka pronounced the verdict at around 3:08pm on Thursday.
The judge, in the verdict, said that the prosecution was able to prove the charges beyond doubt against the accused and Majnu had been given the highest punishment in the case.
“The accused committed a heinous offence by raping the student, for which he deserved the highest punishment mentioned in the law.
“This judgment will send a clear message to offenders such as Majnu,” added the judge
Before the verdict was announced, Majnu told reporters that he had been tortured into giving a confessional statement regarding his involvement in the incident.
He also alleged that four others had raped the victim but only he was implicated in the case in an attempt to harass him.
During the hearing, Majnu was violent in the courtroom and hurled abuses at everyone -- including judges, police and public prosecutors.
Amid the chaos caused by the behaviour of the accused, the court asked the journalists and lawyers present in the courtroom to go out but allowed senior lawyers to be inside to keep the situation under control.
Also read - Verdict in DU student rape case on November 19
Advocate Rabiul Islam Robi of Dhaka District Legal Aid, who represented Majnu in the hearing, said: “As a lawyer for the accused, I will say the accused has not received justice. He can go to the High Court to challenge this verdict.”
Asked about Majnu’s behavior earlier in the courtroom, the lawyer said: “He [Majnu] is just like this. Whenever people ask him about the rape incident he behaves in such a manner.”
Meanwhile, Special Public Prosecutor Afroza Farhana, expressing her satisfaction over the verdict, said that the prosecution was able to prove the charges against Majnu and had got justice.
“During the rape incident, Majnu took the student’s mobile phone and sold it to a woman, which was later recovered by RAB. That is why charges were also framed against him under Sections 394 and 411 of the Penal Code.”
“However, the court acquitted the accused of the snatching charge as it was not proved whether Majnu had committed the crime or not,” she added.
The parents of the victim were not present in court during the delivery of the verdict.
The victim’s lawyer Abdur Rashid also expressed satisfaction over the judgment, saying that the victim’s parents were also happy as they had obtained justice.
Earlier on January 5, a second-year student of Dhaka University was raped in Kurmitola after she mistakenly got off a bus there at around 7pm on her way to a friend's house at Joar Sahara, also known as Shewra.
The incident caused shockwaves and triggered massive protests by students and humanitarian organizations across the country.
The rape survivor's father filed a case with Cantonment police station over the incident, which was transferred to the Detective Branch of Police on January 6.
On January 8, the Rapid Action Battalion arrested Mojnu in Shewra rail crossing area. He gave a statement before a Dhaka court confessing to his involvement in the crime on January 16.
On March 16, the DB submitted the charge sheet before a court in Dhaka against the lone accused in the case.