The plaintiffs of the birthday party rape case of March 28 say they are afraid for their safety because their alleged rapists have repeatedly threatened them over the phone and told them to withdraw the case.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, one of the plaintiffs said on Sunday: “My family is now very afraid. This constant harassment from Shafaat and the media frenzy has caused them to change their minds about the case – they do not support my seeking justice anymore.”
On Saturday, a case was filed with Banani police against Shafaat Ahmed, 26, Nayeem Ashraf, 30, Sadman Sakif, 24, and Billal, 26, for the alleged rape of two young women at the Raintree Hotel in Banani after a birthday party on March 28.
According to the case file, Shafaat, the son of Dildar Ahmed, one of the owners of Apan Jewellers, and his friend Nayeem allegedly raped the two university students while Shafaat’s bodyguard held the girls at gunpoint and Shafaat’s driver Billal, 26, videotaped the incident.
It has been more than 48 hours since the rape case had been filed against the four, but police have yet to arrest anyone.
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“They were initially hesitant to even take the case,” said one of the plaintiffs who had tried to file a case on Thursday. At the time, police refused to accept the case as two of the accused were from highly influential families and had only written down her statements as a complaint.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Shafaat's father Dildar Ahmed claimed that his son was a victim of a conspiracy.
“This is all his ex-wife's doing. She is making these girls do this to blackmail him,” Dildar claimed, adding that if the case could not be proved against his son, he would file a defamation case.
When the Dhaka Tribune asked Banani police station Inspector (Investigation) Abul Matin why no one had been arrested yet, he said attempts at detention were being made.
“We are trying to arrest them. We have even sent a letter to immigration police so that they cannot leave the country,” he said.
When questioned about the allegations that police had not made arrests because they had accepted bribes, Abul said police rules and regulations prevent him from speaking to the media and promptly hung up the phone.
On Sunday, the girls were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for rape tests, which included DNA profiling, radiology and microbiology.
"The primary results will be available in 15-20 days," said DMCH Forensic Medicine Department Head Dr Sohel Mahmud.
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