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O Level student rape: Police pick up security guard for questioning

  • Published at 02:38 pm January 11th, 2021
Police escort Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, the lone accused in a case filed over the rape and murder of an O Level student in Kalabagan, Dhaka, to a lower court in the capital on Friday, January 8, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Accused Dihan’s DNA collected for examination

Police picked up the security guard of the Kalabagan building, where an O Level student was raped and later died due to hemorrhagic shock caused by excessive bleeding, on Monday for interrogation.

Md Dulal, 45, was picked up from the Lazz Pharma lane of Dhaka’s Kalabagan area at around 12pm and has been kept under surveillance, confirmed Sajjadur Rahman, deputy commissioner (DC) at Ramna Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).

“He is neither accused nor shown arrested. We are just verifying the information with his cooperation,” Sajjadur said.

He added that if the police came across additional information, they would notify the media officially.

Police earlier said that they were looking for the security guard as he had helped the lone accused, Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, 18, to carry the victim out of the house and claimed that he might know something.

DNA samples of accused collected

The DNA samples of Dihan were collected on Monday to be further cross-match with the samples which were collected from the victim’s body on Friday, said Abul Hasan, assistant commissioner (AC) at New Market Zone under Ramna Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Also Read- O Level student rape: FemGen Alliance condemns victim blaming

“The meeting at the residence was upon mutual understanding, but she was raped,” he said on Sunday, mentioning there was no evidence of a third person being there during the incident at the flat.

He added: “All evidence has been seized and sent for forensic tests already. We are looking into the matter closely to see whether anyone else was involved with this incident.”

AFM Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Kalabagan police station, told Dhaka Tribune that the police needed a few more days to get a DNA sample-matching report since these tests were conducted at a Mohakhali hospital.

Meanwhile, friends, classmates of the victim, and their guardians held a candlelight vigil at Dhaka’s Dhanmondi 27 area on Saturday demanding the death penalty for Dihan.

‘Rape case mishandled’

Feminists Across Generations, also known as FemGen Alliance, in a statement, said that there had been gross mishandling of the case by police and the media as well as widespread victim blaming from all sections of society - parents, teachers and youth.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” it said in a statement.

The organization’s leading figures said that  they were particularly disturbed at the media’s carrying articles which disclosed the victim’s identity as well as pushing forward narratives that put the onus on women again and again of “failing to save themselves.”

Also Read- Dihan’s family ashamed, not defending him in court

They demanded that media outlets maintain strict protocols and guidelines when it came to reporting on sexual violence.

They urged families to hold their boys and men accountable for any and all violence they perpetuatds and for educational institutions to introduce comprehensive sex education.

Students Community against Rape and Sexual Violence (SCaRSV) has also demanded the highest punishment of the accused through a speedy tribunal.

What happened earlier?

On January 7, the victim left her house at around 11:45am after telling her mother over the phone that she was going to a coaching class to collect some worksheets, according to the case statement.

Dihan called the victim's mother at 1:18pm and said her daughter had gone to his house at Kalabagan’s Lake circus area, where she had fallen sick.

Dihan asked her mother to go to the emergency department of Anwer Khan Modern Hospital at Kalabagan area, where her daughter had been taken.

When the victim's mother reached the hospital, the on-duty doctor informed her that her daughter had been murdered after rape, said the case statement.

Also Read- OP-ED: The media must show common sense

The parents of the victim learnt later that Dihan had asked the victim to go to his flat, which was empty as the other members of his family were out at the time. He raped their daughter there and took her to the hospital when she started to bleed profusely.

Upon being informed of the incident, police went to the hospital and apprehended Dihan along with three of his friends.

Police later released the three friends, as there was no evidence that they were involved in the incident.

The girl's father filed a case with Kalabagan police station, accusing Fardin, who recently passed his A levels.

After post mortem, a forensic doctor at Dhaka Medical College Hospital said evidence of rape and injury marks had been found on the victim’s body. He suspected that the girl had died due to hemorrhagic shock and excessive bleeding.

According to the confession of Dihan before a Dhaka court, police also said Dihan had a plan and intentionally called the victim to his house. He admitted that he had developed a friendly relationship with the girl “which may turn into a love affair.”

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