Khulna gang rape: Probe team records victim statement

The two probe committees formed to investigate an incident of gang rape recorded the victim’s statement at the prison gate of Khulna District Jail.

The victim, now behind bars being accused in a drug case, gave her statement on Thursday morning.

At the recording of the statement, Government Railway Police (GRP) Superintendent of Police (SP) (administration) Shehela Parvin leading a probe body from Dhaka, and a female magistrate, were present.

Kushtia Railway Circle Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Firoz Ahmed, heading another probe committee, said the woman gave her statement to female officials as she was reluctant to give it before any male official.

On Thursday, the victim’s family was supposed to talk to the probe bodies but that did not happen.

Hosne Ara, elder sister of the victim, said they were waiting at Government Railway Police station in Khulna since morning but could not talk to anyone of any of the probe bodies.

She also said on Wednesday that they were being threatened with dire consequences over mobile phone for the incident.

ASP Firoz Ahmed said they have quizzed 10 to 12 Government Railway Police personnel so far about the matter.

On Wednesday, police headquarters closed Khulna Government Railway Police station OC Osman Gani, and Sub-Inspector (SI) Nazmul Haq, for “dereliction of duty” following allegations of their involvement in the in custody gang rape.

According to the woman’s brother-in-law, she was apprehended by OC Osman Gani around 7pm on August 2, at Khulna railway station on allegations of stealing a mobile phone.

On August 3, police brought her before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court for a drug case, with five bottles of phensedyl. The court sent her to jail on the day.

However, on Sunday, when the woman was in court for her bail hearing, she alleged that OC Osman Gani and four other police personnel raped her in turns.

To verify her statement, the court ordered a medical checkup for her at Khulna Medical College and Hospital (KMCH).

On Monday, the woman underwent a medical test and the report was yet to be available.

The victim’s family alleged that OC Osman demanded Tk 1 lakh on August 2 to free the woman from their custody.

The OC has denied the rape allegation, saying: “The woman cooked up the story to avoid the drug case.”