Dhaka office
Two members of a National Human Rights Commission’s fact-finding committee yesterday visited The Raintree Dhaka hotel in Banani where two university students were alleged to have been raped in March.
The members talked to eight hotel employees.
“We will talk to all the people concerned and submit our report by the stipulated time,” convenor of the committee Nazrul Islam told reporters after visiting the scene.
The commission on Monday formed the five-member committee to “identify the criminals and ensure their punishment”. The committee was asked to submit its report within 15 working days.
The upscale hotel was also raided by Narcotics Control Department amid claims that alcohol was served at the birthday party on March 28. The hotel does not have liquor selling licence.
The arrestees, meanwhile, admitted to interrogators that they were drunk on that night and named several employees of the hotel who provided them with alcohol, said a police officer requesting anonymity.
Talking to reporters, Farzana Ara Rini, executive of internal operations of The Raintree Dhaka, said the security guard frisked the people attending the party as the scanner was not operational at the time. “The hotel was not fully operational then.”
Invited to the birthday party of Shafat Ahmed on March 28, two university students went to the Banani hotel around 9:00pm. After the party ended around midnight, Shafat and his friend Halim alias Nayem raped them in two rooms, alleged one of the girl who filed a case with Banani Police Station accusing five young men.
A joint team of police arrested Shafat and another accused Shadman Sakif Thursday night at Sylhet city.
Besides Shafat, Halim and Sakif, the victim accused Shafat’s driver Billal and bodyguard Abul Kalam Azad of aiding and abetting.
The girls went to Banani Police Station on May 4, more than a month after the incident. But police registered the case on May 6 after dilly-dallying for two days.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Thursday formed a three-member probe committee led by an additional commissioner (crime) to see whether Banani police was negligent in registering the case.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told reporters at a programme that they were investigating whether the officer-in-charge of Banani Police Station was negligent.
He added that the role of the hotel authority was also being scrutinised.
“We are not trying to hide anything, investigation is underway and action would be taken as per the findings,” the minister said.
The victims’ family members, meanwhile, requested police to take steps to remove a interview of one of the victims that went viral on social media.
“The partially blurred face of the victim can be recognised easily. Besides, names of the victims were mentioned in the interview. Uploading or sharing such videos is punishable offence under existing law,” said a police officer investigating the incident.