Cox’s Bazar rape: Husband says he told wife to lie in court under duress

The man returned to Dhaka after spending four days in police custody in the resort town with his wife and children after the incident.

The couple travelled with their 8-month-old child from their home in Dhaka’s Jatrabari and lodged at a hotel on Cox’s Bazar’s Holiday Mor on Dec 23.

A group of men then took the man and the child hostage from the city’s Laboni Point area and allegedly raped the woman several times.

After receiving a call, the Rapid Action Battalion rescued the 25-year-old woman from a hotel called Zia Guest Inn in the wee hours of Dec 24. They then rescued her husband and son from in front of the Tourist Golf Course.

The elite police unit detained the hotel manager and identified the perpetrators after checking video footage from a CCTV camera.

Later, the husband started a case over the incident, with the woman testifying in the court of Cox’s Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Hamimun Tajneen the same day. They had been in the custody of the tourist police since then.

After arriving in Dhaka on Sunday, the man has told several reporters that his wife had given a “false” statement in court “under duress”.

Asked to enlarge on the matter, he said, “On the evening of Dec 24, some people handed me an anonymous letter outside the Cox’s Bazar Police Station. The letter said that if we don’t lie in court, we won’t be able to return home from Cox’s Bazar.”

The man claimed he was not literate and so he asked his wife to read out the letter to him. After hearing what was written, he told her to lie in court.

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“My wife has been angry with me ever since. But I know why I asked her to lie.”

“I want a more thorough investigation. A proper investigation will prove if I was right or wrong,” he said.

The man said he did not even have the confidence to inform the police about the threatening letter.

“We were treated very badly at the Sadar Police Station while we’re there for a day.”

“At 12 o’clock at night, I was sitting on the floor with my baby. When I tried to speak to the police about the problem, they said, ‘You haven’t seen anything yet. It’s just the start of your troubles.'”

“When the police talk like this, isn’t it clear what lies ahead of us?”

The woman and her husband have been complaining about the police’s conduct from the outset.

The couple spent a night at the police station after being rescued by the RAB. They were under the supervision of the tourist police for the remainder of their time in Cox’s Bazar.

But the contents of the woman’s testimony remain unknown. However, the Cox’s Bazar Tourist Police claimed that Ashikul Islam, the key suspect in the case, had been acquainted with the woman before the incident.

Ashikul was arrested in Madaripur on Dec 26.

He was previously named in 18 cases of crimes, including murder, torture of women, snatching, extortion, weapons and drugs, according to police. He was released on bail on Dec 16 in a robbery case.

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