Attempts to cover up rapists
Nevertheless, we commend the media for focusing and throwing fresh light on the most talked about and one of the most heinous crimes committed in the form of raping two university students recently at a hotel in the capital's Banani area. The girls came to attend a friend's birthday party and fell into a pre-laid trap as the host, the son of a top jewellery merchant, and were violated over night.
The victims were forced into two rooms in the infamous Raintree Hotel, sexually abused, and were videoed. The rapists threatened to release it on social media unless the girls meet the "bastards" for sex again.
We thank police for taking up the case and acting -- belatedly though -- to arrest the fugitive rapists and in less than a week they put all the five human faced hyenas behind the bars. They are now under investigation by law enforcers and customs authorities -- something which the media is also keeping under close watch.
But, as the nation awaits to know progress of the case following the two victims lodged a complaint with police almost a month after they had been gang-raped (they say the delay in filing case was due to unexplained fears), we surprisingly notice that a tiny section of the media (apparently paid by and linked with the criminals) is trying to change the focus and divert the attention otherwise. They are now asking the motive of the two girls in attending the birthday party of Shafaat Ahmed, son of Apan Jewellers owner Dildar Ahmed, and staying at the hotel late in the night. This may be a valid question to help the investigation but not to detract it or cover up the assaulters.
Meanwhile, a report in the social media, quoting an online news portal, claimed that the whole Banani rape saga is now likely to be shadowed by alleged ill-connections between Dildar Ahmed and couple of powerful ministers who allegedly know Dildar and his son closely for a long time. Dildar, who publicly endorsed rape of the two girls by his son, is allegedly involved in gold and diamond smuggling.
The report further said Dildar has already hired a celebrated London-based Bangladeshi journalist to lobby in favour of his rapist son and that he is expected to arrive in Dhaka in a few days. Dildar has bought the would-be lobbyist return air ticket and paid huge amount of money as fee for the job. Negotiation to raise the fee is continuing. Besides, Apan Jewellers will bear all expenses of the elderly journo while staying in Dhaka. The report may be right or wrong, concocted or have been overstated. But reality speaks of an ongoing monstrous bid Dildar has launched to save his son as well as his business, As such, media says, the jewellery tycoon would be ready to pay any amount needed to mould the opinion in favour of the rapists and against the victims.
Therefore, all concerned including the government, law enforcers and crime watchers in the country must not lower their vigil in this case. We want justice for all.