A top Chittagong police official on Monday has publicly admitted that there was “partial failure” on the police’s part in handling the rape cases of four women from Shah Mirpur village under Karnaphuli upazila.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Deputy Commissioner Harun-Ur-Rashid Hazari came up with the surprising acknowledgement during a press conference in Karnaphuli police station.
Around 1am on December 12, four robbers aged around 20-25 broke into a one-storey house in Shah Mirpur village, and raped the four women at gunpoint. The criminals left the house around 3am, looting cash, jewellery and smartphone handsets, according to the women.
The victims filed a case accusing four people under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act with Karnaphuli police station on December 17, five days after the incident.
Replying to a query, the Deputy Commissioner said: “The police had partial failure at the initial stage, from recording the case to visiting the crime spot. The matter should have been dealt with much more importance.”
However, he also said the delay in the investigation partly happened because the traumatised women were unable to provide proper information.
Police needed more time to gather “conclusive” evidence on the case, he added.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the case. One of the detainees, Mohammad Shumon alias Abu, has been identified by the victims as one of the perpetrators, said Harun-ur-Rashid.
When asked why the accused were not taken into remand, he said: "We are prioritising the test identification (TI) parade [commonly known as identity parade], rather than remand."
"The information we gathered from the victims matches with the detainee Abu,” he said.
Talking about the alleged negligence of Karnaphuli police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Syedul Mustafa in filing the case, Harun-ur-Rashid said that they would launch an investigation in this regard, and take necessary actions against the OC if he is found guilty.
CMP's Assistant Commissioner Jahidul Islam, Additional Assistant Commissioner Arefin Jewel, Karnaphuli police station OC Syedul Mustafa, and Inspector (investigation) Hasan Imam were also present at the press conference.
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