Weightlifter rape case: No progress yet


No significant progress in the case of sexual assault on a teenage weightlifter was made as police could not arrest lone accused Sohag Ali and two probe committees could not submit their reports till the date.
Bilal Hossain, the director admin of National Sports Council, who headed a three-member probe body formed by the sports regulatory body, said they have completed the report but could not submit it to the authorities yet.
‘Our sir [Masood Karim, Secretary, NSC] has a busy schedule, I’m hoping, we will submit it within a short time,’ said Bilal, without disclosing the outcome of their investigation.
Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation general secretary Lieutenant Colonel Nazrul Islam assured that no one would be spared if found guilty but informed that the probe body formed by the federation failed to complete their task due to the illness of victim.
‘We have tried to complete the task within the stipulated time [15 days], but could not do so. The victim is sick and the probe body failed to contact both parties [including the accused],’ he said.
‘I have been told by the probe body that they would require more time,’ he said.
On November 29, the mother of the sexually assaulted weightlifter filed a rape case – making BWLF office staff Sohag Ali the lone accused- with the Paltan police station in Dhaka under the women and children repression prevention act more than two-and-a-half month after the incident.
On that same day, BWLF and NSC formed a separate three-member probe committee each to investigate the allegation.
Sohag allegedly violated the 17-year old weightlifter in a room of NSC Tower’s 15th floor on September 13 and the victim has since lost her mental balance.
Accused Sohag is on the run since victim’s family filed a written complaint with the BWLF on November 25.
The victim took treatment in National Institution of Mental Health but was later moved to a safe house run by rights group Ain o Shalish Kendra.
Terming the incidence as a sensitive and a prestige matter, the federation secretary said, ‘I’m personally [as general secretary] saying that no one will be spared. If we find any misconduct, we will take appropriate action. We will not allow this issue to let go,’ he said.
The Investigation officer of this case, OC Investigation of Paltan police station, Shahinuzzaman, claimed that he is very close to arrest the accused after conducting a drive.
‘Hope you will get positive news within 10 days. It has become difficult to arrest him as someone is probably tipping him off. He is hundred per cent alert to escape arrest and so is my team.’ the IO narrated.
Shahinuzzaman added that he conducted several drives in accused Sohag Ali’s Netrokona village in vain.
The victim’s maternal uncle, who wished not to be named, expressed the family’s frustration in the whole scenario.
‘I’m not seeing any significant progress till the date. NSC probe body visited the safe home of Ain O Salish Kendra, I just know it, nothing else,’ he said.
ASK lawyer Shilpi Saha, who assisted the victim’s family in filing the case, meanwhile said that the mental and physical condition of the victim was improving.
‘She [victim] is good with us, better than before, going through regular counseling. She is okay from outside, but it is difficult to feel the inside, you know. Her granny, who raised her, is with her. She does not trust other.’
‘Hope, she will recover slowly. First, she needs to get back her confidence. We are inspiring her so that she could come back to return to play again,’ Shilpi said.
Shilpi informed that NSC probe committee members visited the safe home and talked to the victim but police could not complete her require medical test due to her illness.