On 7th January 2021, a rape victim in Dhaka who was a student of the capital’s Mastermind School, Anushka Amin Aurna was brought dead to the Anwer Khan Medical Hospital by her boyfriend Fardin Iftekhar Dihan.
Kalabagan Gang Rape of a minor
According to the statements obtained, at around 11:45 am Anushka Amin called her mother and left her house for her coaching classes. Anushka’s mother said she was in a good mood. In the afternoon at about 2:30 pm, Fardin Iftekhan Dihan called the Anushka’s mother and said her daughter had gone to his family’s flat in Kalabagan, where she had fallen sick. Dihan further told her that she should go to Anwer Khan Modern Hospital. When the victim’s mother reached the hospital, she found her daughter dead. Pieces of evidence of rape have been found on her body.
It seems from the statement that Anushka Amin’s mother was aware of the intimate relations between her daughter and Dihan.
Anushka’s father filed a case against Dihan, Anushka’s supposed boyfriend, on Thursday night, accusing him of sexually assaulting and then murdering her, according to the Daily Star.
An autopsy was conducted the following day. The head of the forensic department at Dhaka Medical College, Sohail Mahmud, reported that the cause of death was hemorrhagic shock by excessive bleeding from vaginal and anal areas. Samples were also sent for DNA profiling. Doctors are doubtful that Anushka was given some sedatives and later some anesthetic drugs were administered in her body prior to death.
The police arrested Dihan and three of his friends allegedly involved in the incident.
Five were questioned by the police
Police questioned five people accused of Anushka’s rape including Fardin Iftekhar Dihan. The other three friends, supposedly accused, were later released due to a lack of substantial evidence against them.
1st accused of rape: Dulala Mia
The first one who was in the police station for questioning was the guard of the premise, Dulal Mia. He was later upon investigation found not involved in Anushka’s rape in Kalabagan and freed to leave. Then the police made the security guard the primary witness of the Kalabagan Rape case, according to the Dhaka Tribune.
2nd accused of rape: Fardin Iftekhar Dihan
Fardin Iftekhar Dihan was questioned by the police. First, he was not willing to accept the blame alone. But, later he issued a statement in the police station accepting the accusation of rape and murder of 17 years minor Anushka Amin Aurna.
3rd accused of rape: Humayeed Milky
Fardin Dihan’s close friend Humayeed Milky, who is allegedly involved in Anushka’s rape and murder in Kalabagan. The police questioned Humayeed and released him due to a lack of evidence.
4th accused of rape: Alvi Mahbub
Another friend of Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, Alvi Mahbub whose father has strong political links in the country was also brought to the police station for questioning. After just 30 minutes of questioning by the police, Mahbub was released from the police station in Dhaka.
5th accused – Mr. X
The fifth accused is not mentioned anywhere on the papers. Even the police are refraining from disclosing his identity. Many believe that Mr. X’s father has very strong political connections. Some of Anushka’s schoolmates are aware that if they name him then Mr. X can become a nightmare for them. Some media reports claim that Mr. X belongs to a powerful business-cum-political family. His identity is kept anonymous due to his family’s influence. No media report dares to publish his name. There is a great possibility that Mr. X is someone from the ruling elite of Bangladesh.
Kalabagan case hearing
Iftekhar Dihan was presented in the Dhaka metropolitan court where he further gave a confessional statement on Friday. The statement was recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC. Magistrate Mamunur Rashid recorded the statement and immediately ordered him to be sent to jail in Dhaka. The case is still under hearing, according to an officer of Kalabagan police station. The next date fixed by the court for further hearing the matter of Anushka’s rape and murder is 26 Jan 2021, according to the United News of Bangladesh.
The role of Police
The Kalabagan rape case has instilled a flame of justice in the country’s youth. The role of the police is very important in this case too. It seems that Bangladesh police are working under some political pressure and hence producing reports making the case easier for the culprits of the Kalabagan rape case.
Records: Anushka was a minor
The police should always remember their duty among the citizens. Anushka Amin Aurna was a 17-year-old and a minor according to the Bangladesh constitution. The police are manipulating the facts and figures in the reports mentioning the victim’s age to be 18 years instead of her real age which is 17 making Anushka a major and not minor, according to a report published in the Daily Star. This will surely impact the judicial proceedings in the court of Dhaka.
Records: Fardin Iftekhar Dihan is 21 years old
Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, 21 years old, whom the police are trying to show as 19 years old manipulating the reports and the evidence. Some sources told The Eastern Herald that Dihan’s parents and police are trying to doctor the birth certificate and other legal documents of Dihan where his real age is mentioned. If the documents presented in the court by the police prove Dihan a 19 years old minor then the case hearing might get shifted to a juvenile court where the penalty will be far less if he is proved guilty. Some sources have revealed that Dihan appeared for A-Levels exams 3 years ago. The Eastern Herald is able to find some of his class-fellows who denied police claims about Dihan’s age and said that Dihan is 21-22 years old.
Death penalty for rape
Bangladesh has amended the law last year in reference to the penalty for rape. Now there is a maximum penalty to death for rape in Bangladesh. This amendment in the law was approved by the cabinet on 12 October 2020.
Every year there are thousands of cases of rapes are witnessed and reported too. Though the number of reported cases are far less than the actual incidents, the total number of rape cases reported in Bangladesh was 1627 and 53 victims were killed after they were raped.
Crime history of Iftikhar Dihan’s family
Iftikhar Dihan and his brother have a history with the police. During the last 3 years, several complaints were received against them by the police. Dihan brothers were accused of harassment and molestation of their house-maids. There are rumors that the Dihan brothers are involved in a 2017 murder case too. Dihan’s father is a known businessman in the town. He has notoriously managed his relations with some anti-social wings in the country. Dihan’s father’s wealth may influence the higher authorities. It has been told by the sources that Dihans has very strong political ties in the present ruling party in Bangladesh. Father’s love for his son may influence some top officials to cover it up.
Iftikhar Dihan might flee Bangladesh
There are public rumors that the way Dihan’s family along with the police is trying to prove him a minor of 18 years of age. If he is proven 18 then his father might send Dihan abroad.
Dihan’s mother said: her son is not to blame. It’s Aurna’s fault. it’s just an accident (a brutal rape).
“This statement from a woman can not be accepted in a civil society”
said a friend of Anushka, a student at Mastermind School.
Role Mastermind School
The media is expecting a formal statement from the school’s committee. Mastermind School is a reputed educational institution in Dhaka. The statement of the school will impact society and especially those with daughters. Mastermind School should stand firm and make an exemplary relevant statement that lasts longer. The role of the victim’s educational institute is very crucial too as they have many female students and teachers. Some of the students who will become responsible and important parts of civil society will definitely keep this incident reminded. Students of the Mastermind School are expecting something very stable, relevant, and exemplary attitude by their school, a group of students of Mastermind School in Dhaka told The Eastern Herald.
Give Aurna justice
Some believe this rape is the outcome of Aurna’s mistake. They say it was consensual sex too. Anushka Amin Aurna was just a 17 years old girl and according to the Constitution of Bangladesh, she is a minor. On the other hand, all four accused are more than 21 years of age hence not minors. The court may make this case hearing an exemplary too for all Bangladesh. The culprits should be identified with a thorough investigation and the pieces of evidence. And the police must play a policing role to help the victim find justice. This way police shall also regain the trust of citizens.
Why did Anushka die?
Consensual sex demands a person’s own will which, as per the worldwide records, never appeared the way the Kalabagan rape case did. People don’t die with consensual sex, even if it is done with multiple partners. Somoy News TV reported that Anushka and Dihan were in a relationship for more than 2 months. The Kalabagan rape case reminds the Nirbhaya rape case in India which definitely was not an example of consensual sex. Anushka died because of multiple rapes committed by these four culprits. If the police do not disclose the identity of the fourth accused, justice may not prevail last. The culprit may find another victim in the near future inciting the flame of mutiny against police in the country among youth.
Dhaka’s Kalabagan Civil Protest
Students and youth in the country are protesting and marching against this heinous crime against women in society.
Candle marches, people with placards against the system, and police in the country are visible on Dhaka roads. They are simply demanding justice for the rape victim.
The statement altered
First reports were stating that the girl was gang-raped. The Dhaka police somehow managed to agree to Iftekhar Dihan to accept the rape accusation against him. Right after Dihan’s testimony in the police station, the reports were made public stating the girl was raped (Not Gang-Raped). Later the doctors also claimed that this was a rape (and not a gang rape). This turn saved (legally) the other accused in this case of rape of a minor girl in Dhaka.
Gang-Rape captured in CCTV
The girl was raped and some media saying that Anushka Aurna was gang-raped based upon the CCTV footage received. But authorities are not allowing this important evidence to be made available to the media. There is no mention of CCTV footage in the new FIR lodged against the 21-year-old rape accused Iftekhar Dihan.
The Daily Star clearly indicated in the earlier reports that there were four people involved in Anushka Aurna’s rape. The newspaper stated that the victim’s family wanted to accuse the other three men too. And Anushka Aurna’s mother saw the other three boys in the hospital. One of them is still missing from the records.
Tampering of evidence
The accused of such sensitive cases should be kept in the prison. Freeing them would result in the tampering or complete loss of evidence against them. This might become a big hurdle for the judiciary while stating the accused.