Ensure fair investigation of ‘gang rape’ at police station

Update: | Print Edition

Prothom Alo illustrationGang rape itself is a gruesome crime. If such a heinous crime is committed inside a police station and the policemen are accused of the offence, it is alarming. The police department’s image gets tarnished too.

People have reasons to be panicked regarding such incidents. The police members are the ones assigned to establish the rule of law and to protect the people. If they are involved in an act like gang rape then the people have no one to trust. Such a horrible accusation arose involving the law enforcement in Khulna.

The alleged victim told the court five policemen of Khulna railway police station including the officer-in-charge Osman Gani Pathan by turns assaulted and raped her throughout the night. The railway authority has formed a three-member committee following the allegations. The OC has denied the accusation saying the woman had made up a story to avoid punishment after being detained with phensedyl. Medical tests were run on her at Khulna Medical College Hospital and collected evidence was sent to Dhaka for scrutiny. Whether she was actually raped or not would be confirmed following the report.

This is not the first instance of policemen being accused of such crime. Several police members raped and killed adolescent Yasmin Akhter in Dinajpur in 1995. That incident stirred the whole country. The convicted policemen were sentenced to death and the sentence was implemented too.

Drawing a conclusion over the allegation made by the Khulna woman before any investigation would be unethical and unlawful.

But in actuality, people are not optimistic regarding the investigation of such a critical allegation against the police. They are apprehensive of police administration’s manipulation of the investigation procedure. The police high ups alone can dispel such apprehensions. Such incidents should be fairly investigated to shield the image of the railway police. It is not expected that the image of the railway police department would be tarnished for the unprofessional attitude and offences committed by a few of its members. The accused police members including the OC should be suspended to ensure a transparent investigation.

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