Expelled Bogra Sramik League leader Tufan Sarker and his relatives and associates, who were arrested over the rape and torture of a female student, are reportedly having a lavish life at Bogra district jail.
Tufan, also an alleged drug peddler, is even getting supplies of phensidyl from outside the jail, sources said.
It is being alleged that Tufan and his arrested family members regularly have talks for hours with their relatives, friends and aides at the visitors’ room, with food supplies coming from their homes.
Tufan’s wife Asha Khatun, his sister-in-law Bogra Municipality Ward 2 Councillor Marzia Hasan Rumki and her mother Rumi Khatun, who are among the arrestees, are being given special facilities, said some accused who recently came out of jail on bail.
The jail authorities have appointed guards for Tufan and his family members, they added.
When asked about the supply of phensidyl, Bogra Jail Superintendent Mokammel Haq said: “An attempt was made recently to help Tufan consume phensidyl through a pipe at the visitors’ room. Someone also threw several bottles of the contraband syrup inside the jail, but it is still not clear who that was meant for.”
A few days after their arrest, Tufan and the others started having food from homes, sources said, adding some jail officials and employees were allowing them to have long conversations with their relatives and acquaintances at the visitors’ room.
“The guards engaged to take care of Tufan and other rape accused facilitate them to talk with their visitors longer than the stipulated time. Taking advantage of the situation, Tufan takes phensidyl through pipe,” said one of the bailed accused, requesting anonymity.
Female prison guard Rawshan Ara had caught Tufan red handed on August 12 when he was being given phensidyl, he said.
Later, she informed the jail super about the matter. Since then, bottles of phensidyl are being thrown for Tufan from the other side of the jail boundary, which are afterwards sent to him.
On Wednesday afternoon, an inmate was caught in possession of a bottle of phensidyl that he collected from near the north boundary wall of the jail, and was taking to Tufan.
The jail super, when questioned, admitted the matter.
Meanwhile, the jail authorities ostensibly arranged a meeting between Tufan and the rape victim at the jail superintendent’s office recently. But, the jail super denied the conversation between the alleged rapist and the victim.
According to sources, the victim had been brought to the jail superintendent’s office around 9pm on August 7 where she had talked to Tufan, hours after she and her mother were issued a discharge letter from Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in Bogra.
Tufan himself confirmed the meeting to some jail guards, saying that the victim would withdraw the case and in exchange of that he will marry her.
Bogra Sadar police station’s Officer-in-Charge (investigation) Aslam Ali said the jail authorities had handed over the victim and her mother one and a half hours later, who passed the night at the local office of the Detective Branch of Police and were taken to Rajshahi the next day.
He, however, failed to answer why they were taken to the jail from the hospital.
On the issue, the jail super said: “There is no scope to bring any inmate out of the jail at night. So, the news of Tufan meeting the victim is baseless and false. The other accused are not in the jail hospital as they are kept in prison cells like other inmates.”
But, reliable sources said Tufan was accommodated at the jail hospital, which the jail authorities are still denying. Rumki, Asha and Rumi were kept at the women’s ward though.
Tufan allegedly raped the girl, a recent SSC graduate, on July 17, luring her into his house promising financial help for her college admission. On July 28, Rumki and Rumi had the victim, 17, and her mother dragged to the same house again, where they and Tufan’s aides brutally tortured them and had their heads shaved.
Ten people were sued in two cases – one for rape and the other for torture – on July 29 and police so far arrested 11 suspects.