Banani double-rape case lingers in absence of witness

Published : 20:43, Mar 28, 2020 | Updated : 20:43, Mar 28, 2020

Shafat Ahmed, one of the main suspects in the Banani rape case. PHOTO: CourtesyA special tribunal has not been able to take forward the proceedings of a case lodged over the rape of two private university students in hotel The Raintree Dhaka at capital’s Banani in 2017, in absence of an important witness.

Safat Ahmed, son of Apan Jewellers owner Dildar Ahmed, and his friends Naim Ashraf and Sadman Sakif allegedly raped the two girls on Mar 28, 2017, bringing them in that hotel for joining a birthday party.

One of the victims filed the case on May 6, 2017, with Banani Police Station in this connection.

The case is now pending in Dhaka 7th Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal, where on Sept 4, 2019, Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrates Satyabrata Shikder and Khurshid Alam testified as witnesses. Since then no witnesses turned up to be examined.

“Proceedings of the case are getting lingered a little because of the ongoing coronavirus transmission fear. Witnesses will be produced again when the situation will become normal again. We hope the case will be disposed of soon,” said Dhaka Metropolitan Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu.

Defence counsel Faruk Ahammed, however, blamed the absence of vital witness Ahmed Shahriar, friend of two victims, for the delay in the case proceedings.

“The hearing is at its fag end. After his examination, the doctor, the magistrate and the investigation officer will testify in the case, bringing an end to the case. But he is not appearing before the court responding to the court’s summon. The prosecution should produce him before the court to help dispose of the case soon,” Faruk said.

The accused in the case are – Safat Ahmed, Naim Ashraf, Sadman Sakif, Safat’s bodyguard Rahmat Ali and driver Billal Hossain.

Police filed charge sheet on Jun 8, 2017, against five including Safat in the case, and a court on Jul 13, 2017, framed charges against the accused.