Tangail bus ‘gangrape’ victim breaks silence

The victim is now out of danger, doctors say

Tangail Correspondent
Published : 4 August 2022, 01:41 PM
Updated : 4 August 2022, 01:41 PM

The woman allegedly gangraped by a group of robbers who took control of a bus in Tangail has given her account of the incident.

On Tuesday night, a gang of robbers disguised as passengers boarded an Eagle Paribahan night coach from Kushtia to Dhaka, took control of the vehicle, beat the passengers, robbed them and then raped a woman on the bus, police say.

Around 3 am, the group drove the bus into a pile of sand opposite the Roktipara Jamme Mosque in Modhupur and fled.

Hekmat Ali, a passenger on the bus, filed a case with Modhupur police over the incident. The case accuses a dozen members of a robbery gang of taking control of the vehicle for three hours.

The rape victim, who was admitted to the Tangail 250-bed General Hospital for treatment and is under police protection, said the robbers boarded the night coach from three separate locations.

One of them even got into an argument with the bus conductor over seating, she said.

“I boarded the bus in Kushtia,” the victim said. “We arrived at a Sirajganj hotel around 11:30 am. After dinner, the bus set off again. About five minutes later, three young men stood up. They were about 20-22 years of age.”

“They told the driver more of their group would board. Four more got on at another location. One of them said more of their group were waiting on the road. Six more got on while we were still in Sirajganj. They occupied seats in the back.”

The woman, who says she is the wife of a transport worker, said: “I had two seats to myself. One was empty. If any women boarded, they would be allowed to sit. Otherwise, it would stay empty. One of them tried to sit next to me and the conductor made him get up. Then the conductor came and sat next to me. They argued about that.”

“A little while later, three of them went up to the driver, pretending they wanted to get off. They held a knife to his throat, brought the driver and helper to the back and detained them. They got the bus conductor too.”

“The gang then tied up all the young men and gagged them. They started tying up the women, robbing them of money, mobile phones and jewellery.”

Then they raped the woman.

“She is currently admitted to the hospital,” said Khondker Sadiqur Rahman, supervisor of Tangail Sadar General Hospital. “In such cases we usually convene a panel of doctors to conduct tests. A panel has been formed and tests are being conducted.

Police have apprehended one of the robbery suspects so far.

The detainee, Raja Miah, is in his thirties and rented a house in the Tangail New Bus Stand area, according to Tangail Superintendent of Police Sarker Mohammad Kaisar at a press conference on Thursday.

Raja was the one who removed the bus driver and took control of the vehicle, law enforcers say.

Raja is a bus driver and mainly drove the Jhatika Paribahan vehicles on the Dhaka-Tangail route.

Raja has been taken to court, where law enforcers have petitioned for a seven-day remand to interrogate him, said Md Helal Uddin, chief of Tangail Detective Branch (north).

Police say he disclosed the names of his accomplices.

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