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A Sylhet tribunal on Sunday framed charges against all the eight accused in a case filed over the gang-rape of a newly-wed woman at Sylhet's MC College hostel in September last year, reports UNB.

Also, the tribunal fixed 24 January for recording the testimony of witnesses.

Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal judge Md Mohitul Haque framed the charges, public prosecutor Rashida Syeda Khanam said.

The accused are Saifur Rahman, Shah Mahbubur Rahman Rony, Tarekul Islam, Arjun Laskar, Ainuddin alias Ainul, and Misbaul Islam Rajon, Rabiul Hasan, and Mahfuzur Rahman Masum.

All of them are local activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League. And they are behind bars now.

On 12 January, a Sylhet tribunal fixed 17 January for hearing on charge framing in the case filed over the gang-rape of the woman.

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The tribunal accepted a charge sheet against eight accused in the case and the plaintiff did not file any objection petition against it.

On 3 December, police pressed charges against eight accused in the gang-rape case.

Indranil Bhattacharya, the investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet before the court of Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate Abul Kashem.

According to police, they found the direct involvement of six people in the rape while two assisted in the crime.

The accused who were directly involved in the crime were Saifur Rahman, Shah Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman Rony, Tariqul Islam Tarek, Arjun Laskar, Mohammad Ainuddin alias Ainul and Misbaul Islam Rajon.

Rabiul Islam Hasan and Mahfuzur Rahman Masum were accused of assisting them.

On 30 November, police received the DNA report of the MC College gang-rape and found the involvement of some accused arrested over the crime.

According to the case statement, a group of youths tied up a man and raped his 25-year-old wife at a dormitory of MC College on 25 September.

The accused started harassing the 25-year-old as his husband went to a shop in front of MC College, stopping his car.

Next, they forcefully took the couple to one of the hostel buildings of the college, where they raped the woman.

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After police rescued the couple, the victim's husband filed a case with Shahporan police station against nine people mentioning the names of six and three to four unnamed men.

On 30 September, the High Court formed an investigation committee to look into the incident.

All of the accused gave their confessional statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after they were taken to remand.

Highest punishment for rape

The rape incident at MC College and another in Noakhali fuelled countrywide protests against sexual violence against women and prompted the government to amend the relevant law with a provision of capital punishment for rape.

The much-talked-about Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2020 was then passed in Parliament on 17 November for ensuring the death penalty as the highest punishment for rape.

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