Thursday, July 27, 2017 | ePaper

Raintree hotel

Rape charge credible: Police Nayeem on seven-day ramand

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Staff Reporter :
All the five accused in Raintree hotel rape case admitted their involvement with the violation of the two private university students in the birthday party in the city recently.
Of them, Regnum Group Director Shadman Sakif and Shafat Ahmed gave the confessional statements in a Dhaka court on Thursday while, Safat's driver Billal Hossain and bodyguard Rahmat Ali confessed their connection with the rape.
Nayeem Ashraf aka Halim admitted his link with the rape in preliminary grilling after arrest from Munshiganj on Wednesday night.
Sadman and Shafat' confessional statements were recorded under section 164 of the Penal Code. They told the court that they had raped two female university students at Banani's Raintree Hotel on March 28.
The duo confessed to their crimes before the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrates Ahsan Habib and Sabbir Yasir Ahsan Chowdhury on Thursday afternoon.Earlier in the day, police said another accused Nayeem Ashraf had confessed his involvement in the rape.
Shafat and Shadman were apprehended in Sylhet on May 12 and Shafat's bodyguard Rahmat and driver Billal were caught from city on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Police after questioning five suspects in the Dhaka hotel rape case have found the accusations to be 'credible'.
Rape allegations against Shafat and Shadman are true, say police after primary interrogation.
"The accusations were found to be credible. He (Nayeem) will face further questioning," Monirul Islam, Additional Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told the reporters in a press briefing at DMP media center on Thursday.      
The four under police custody have "admitted to committing a lot of what they were accused of", said Monirul Islam. "We are verifying the information they gave us."
The police had primary information of the crime which was consistent with rape as defined in law, he said.
The remand period granted to police for the four suspects are not yet over and the fifth suspect has just been caught, he said. "It will not be appropriate to comment now."
"We have just started questioning the main accused. We have learned that there was sexual intercourse. We'll know what happened after we have finished our interrogation," the police official said.
The case involves very wealthy suspects and the hotel where the rape incidents took place is owned by the children of ruling Awami League MP Bazlul Haque Haroon.
The alleged victims mentioned of threats meted out to them by the suspects which caused them to delay notifying the authorities by more than a month.
A probe committee has been formed to investigate their allegations that police initially refused to book their case.
"The law does not recognise powerful men. A criminal is simply a criminal. We'll take action against anyone else related to this incident," said Monirul Islam.  
On the other hand, Nayeem Ashraf has been sent to serve a seven-day remand in police custody.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate SM Masud Zaman passed the order after investigation officer Ismat Ara Ame produced Nayeem and moved a remand plea for 10 days.
Four other accused in the case, Ahmed Shafat, his accomplice Shadman Sakif, his bodyguard Rahmat and driver Billal have already been remanded.
The Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, on Thursday assured that irrespective of social, identity, the offenders involved in the recent Banani hotel rape case will be brought to justice.
After inaugurating a Women's Holiday Market of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) at Mohakhali Kitchen Market, the minister said that the investigation was underway.
Those found to have helped the accused with the matter will also face justice, he said, adding "no matter which influential class he belongs to."
The organisation "For The Women, By The Women" arranged the programme in association with DNCC with Mayor Annisul Huq presiding over it.
Two university students accused five men of raping them and filed a case with Banani Police station on May 6.
The victims said that Shafat Ahmed and his friend Nayeem Ashraf forced them into a room and raped them at gunpoint during his birthday party at Raintree Hotel on March 28.

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