Students of Dhaka University on Tuesday continued demonstrations for the second straight day protesting the rape of one of their fellows in Kurmitola area along Airport Road, on Sunday night. Protesting students, at a human chain in front of Raju Memorial Sculpture, wearing black gags, and holding different placards, chanted "Hang the rapist” while seeking justice for their fellow.
Later, several thousand students gathered in front of Ruqayyah Hall with placards demanding punishment of the culprit. They urged the government to arrest the rapist immediately. They also urged the university administration to ensure the security of all students. Meanwhile, three more students joined Sifatul Islam, a student of DU’s philosophy department who was observing a hunger strike in front of Raju Sculpture since 3:30am on Monday, to protest over the incident.
Among the three, Saiful Islam Rasel of soil, water and environment department, and Mostafizur Rahman of information technology institute joined Sifatul Monday while another started the hunger strike yesterday. Earlier on Sunday night, a female student of the university was raped by an unidentified man at Kurmitola area in Dhaka.
Classmates of the victim said that she had been picked up by an unidentified man after she had got down from the university bus at Kurmitola around 7:00pm and was made unconscious. An unknown man gagged her from behind and took her to an isolated place, where she became unconscious. Later, she was raped and physically tortured, they said quoting the girl.
The victim regained consciousness around 10:00pm and contacted her classmates. She was admitted to the One-Stop Crisis Centre of Dhaka Medical College Hospital around midnight. On information, DU proctor, teachers and students visited her at the hospital. As the news spread, protests sparked across the capital and the University campus on Monday over the rape. Students marched down or occupied some key roads of the city to demand punishment to the rapist and arrest of the culprit within 48 hours.
Bangladesh Chhatra League, Chhatra Dal, left leaning organizations, Bangladesh General Student’s Right Protection Council and other organizations protested the incident and demanded immediate arrest of the culprit. In a statement, Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (Duta) demanded immediate arrest of the rapist(s) and urged the government to ensure their exemplary punishment.
On Monday night, DU students, under the banner of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu), held a candlelight vigil on the premises of Central Shaheed Minar to press for the arrest of the culprit(s). Later, a group of Ducsu leaders, led by Assistant General Secretary Saddam Hossain, submitted a memorandum to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, demanding that the culprit(s) be identified in 24 hours.
Talking to reporters after a programme earlier in the day, the home minister said the culprits would be brought to book within the shortest possible time.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) Director, Brig Gen Dr AKM Nasir Uddin told reporters that the general health condition of the DU student, who was raped at Kurmitola, is improving.
The victim is now undergoing treatment in DMCH's One-Stop Crisis Center. He said: "As you [reporters] know, a seven-member medical board has been formed to treat the victim. They found that her physical condition has shown much improvement." However, she is mentally traumatized and the hospital authorities have appointed a psychiatric specialist to talk to her and give her some advice, he added.
We hope that on doctors' advice, we will be able to discharge her within one or two days, he added. AKM Nasir Uddin said, they formed a seven-member medical board, headed by obstetrics and gynaecology department chief Salma Rouf, for the victim’s treatment. Meanwhile, Doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) found evidence of rape following forensic tests on the victim.
Police found some CCTV footage of nearby areas. Gulshan Division Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Sudeep Kumar Chakraborty said, some video footage of the nearby area has been found. He talked to the media at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) about the investigation into Sunday's rape incident.
The police officer said, they expected the arrest of the rapist soon. “The only goal is to identify the rapist and arrest him," he added. Meanwhile, the victim's father filed a case with the Cantonment police station in this regard. Later, the case was transferred to the Detective Branch (DB) of police on Monday night.