A Noakhali court on Tuesday sentenced 13 people to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment in a case over torturing a housewife after undressing her at Joykrishnapur village in Begumganj upazila of Noakhali district in September last year.
Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1 Judge Jainal Abedin pronounced the verdict.
The convicts are Delwar Hossain Dulu, Noor Hossain Badal, Abdur Rahim, Mohammad Ali alias Abul Kalam, Israfil Hossain Miah, Moyeen Uddin Sazu, Shamsuddin Sumon, Abdur Rob Chowdhury, Mostafizur Rahman, Jamal Uddin, Noor Hossain Russel, Mizanur Rahman Tareq and Anwar Hossain Sohag.
Among them, Abdur Rob, Mostafizur Rahman, Jamal Uddin and Mizanur Rahman were tried in absentia.
The court also fined Tk50,000 each, in default, they would have to serve three more months in jail.
Earlier on 4 October in 2020, the victim filed the case against nine people of "Delwar Bahini" at Begumganj Model Police Station.
The case was later handed over to the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI). The PBI farmed charges against 13 persons in the case.
The victim was molested by some local miscreants of 'Delwar Bahini' at Ward No. 9 of Eklashpur Union on 2 September in 2020.
The incident came to light after a video of the barbaric incident went viral on the Internet.
The miscreants tortured the housewife after undressing her and captured it on phone. The video sent a shock wave throughout the country, triggering protests everywhere.
Apart from the torture case, the victim filed two more separate cases including one under Pornography Control Act over the incident.
Earlier on October 4, the court sentenced Delwar and Abul Kalam to life imprisonment in a case filed over raping the woman.
According to the case statement, some local miscreants of "Delwar Bahini" allegedly raped the victim in Eklaspur Union of Begumganj upazila on 2 September 2020. Delwar had previously raped the victim multiple times.
The miscreants also tortured the housewife after undressing her and captured a video of the incident on the phone.
The incident came to light after a video of the barbaric incident went viral on social media on 4 October 2020, triggering protests throughout the country.
On 17 February this year, the court framed charges against the accused. The court, on 18 August, recorded the testimony of the plaintiff in the presence of the accused.
Earlier on 14 December 2020, the magistrate court forwarded the charge sheet to the Noakhali Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1.
"I cannot be happy with the verdict. I want life imprisonment for them," said the tortured housewife.
She urged the higher court not to release them even on the last day of their lives.
"Everybody knows through the viral video what a crime they committed with me," the victim said, adding that she and her family would be at risk again once the convicts get released.
Meanwhile, local civil society expressed their concerns over the absconding convicts.
Freedom fighter Tarkeshwar Debnath Nantu said the role of law enforcement agencies became questioned as they failed to arrest the four convicts.
"We are ashamed to see such a brutal rape and torture incident even after 50 years of our independence. We did not fight for the situation."
Nantu urged the authorities concerned to detain the absconding convicts and to ensure the implementation of the latest verdict.
Contacted the district's PBI Inspector Mamunur Rashid Patwary said they came to know that Jamal Uddin, one of the four absconding convicts, already left the country.
"Our effort to arrest the rest of the convicts will go on," he told The Business Standard.