DHAKA (THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Bangladeshi police arrested five bus helpers on charges of killing and gang-raping a law student on a moving bus Friday (Aug 25) night.
A team of police raided Madhupur bus station early Tuesday and arrested Habib, 40, Gendu, 35, Shamim, 30, Akram, 30, and Jahangir, 20, and seized the bus.
Bus helpers Shamim, Akram, and Jahangir have already made confessional statements before senior judicial magistrates, court officials said. Police were interrogating the two others.
Following a tip-off from a bus passenger, police recovered the body of the victim, Rupa Khatun Pramanik, 27, beside a highway in the Pachish Mile area around 11pm on Friday.
Kaiyum Khan Siddique, in-charge of Aronkhola Police Outpost in Madhupur, said the crimes took place in a bus of Chhowa Paribahan heading to Mymensingh from Bogra. He added that the suspects come from different areas in Mymensingh.
He added that at one point in the journey, all passengers of the bus got down, and helper Shamim took Rupa, who boarded the bus in Bogra, to the rear and tried to rape her.
The victim then gave him Tk 5,000 (S$83.50) and her mobile phone to Shamim and pleaded to be let go, said the officer who is investigating the case.
Shamim took the money and the phone and then raped her. Two other helpers Akram and Jahangir also raped her while Habib was driving and Gendu was sleeping, the suspects claimed to police.
When the bus was near Madhupur, Rupa started screaming. The three bus helpers then broke her neck and threw the body out in a secluded area, he said.
The victim's identity was revealed when her elder brother Hafizur Pramanik came to the police station on Monday night after seeing her picture on the news.
A law student in Dhaka, Rupa worked in a multinational company in Sherpur. She hailed from Sirajganj's Tarash upazila.
Police had buried her unidentified after an autopsy on Saturday and lodged a murder case in this connection.
Rupa went to Bogra on Friday to sit for a teachers' registration examination. After the exam, she, along with an acquaintance from her hometown, boarded the bus in the evening.
The man got down at Elenga in Tangail.
As Rupa did not reach Mymensingh on time, one of her colleagues called her. A man answered and said Rupa had mistakenly left her phone and switched off the phone afterwards.
When Rupa did not show up at work on Saturday morning, her colleagues informed her younger sister.
Unable to trace her, Rupa's brother Hafizur lodged a general diary with Mymensingh Sadar Police Station on Saturday and continued to search for her until they learnt what had happened from the media.