4 ar­rested as Bangladesh teen raped, head shaved

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Bangladesh po­lice have ar­rested four men over the rape of a teenager whose head was shaved as pun­ish­ment by the ac­cused’s wife in a case that has shocked the con­ser­va­tive coun­try, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day. Po­lice de­tained the four men in­clud­ing Tu­fan Sarker, a union­ist linked to the rul­ing Awami League party, af­ter pictures of the vic­tim and her mother at hos­pi­tal with shaved heads caused out­rage.

A man­hunt is still un­der­way for Sarker’s wife Asha Khatun, who is ac­cused of drag­ging the teenager and her mother to their home, beat­ing them and forcibly shav­ing their heads. Sarker, 25, has been charged with rap­ing the 16-year-old at home on Fri­day, said lo­cal po­lice spokesman Sona­ton Chakroborty. “He threat­ened to kill her and her mother if she would dare to talk to any­one about the in­ci­dent,” he told AFP. Another of­fi­cer told AFP that Sarker was a lo­cal leader of the labour wing of the Awami League, which has been rul­ing Bangladesh for most of the last decade. Photos of the vic­tim and her mother at hos­pi­tal with their heads shaved spread quickly on­line, out­rag­ing Bangladeshis who urged po­lice to take prompt ac­tion.

The vic­tim, whose iden­tity has not been dis­closed, said Sarker’s wife sus­pected she had en­gaged in a re­la­tion­ship with her hus­band. “They shaved my en­tire head. I re­peat­edly apol­o­gized but they didn’t lis­ten. They even beat my mother and shaved her head,” she told a lo­cal news chan­nel. Po­lice said they were also pur­su­ing Sarker’s sis­ter-in-law, a coun­cilor in Bo­gra city, for al­legedly abet­ting the as­sault by send­ing thugs to help beat the vic­tims. — AFP

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