Three days after the Noakhali rape incident surfaced, the prime accused and his accomplice have been charged with rape.
Thousands of people on social media criticised the police for not charging the prime accused, Delwar Hossan, chief of the notorious Delwar Bahini.
On Tuesday night, the victim, 35, in Noakhali's Begumganj filed a rape case against Delwar and his accomplice Abul Kalam.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Begumganj Model Police Station, Muhammad Harun-ur-Rashid Chowdhury, confirmed that the woman had filed the case under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.
The case was filed a day after the victim told the National Human Rights Commission's investigation team that Delwar had raped her.
According to the case statement and police sources, Delwar had raped the woman twice a year ago.
On Tuesday, the National Human Rights Commission's investigation team reported that the woman had been raped by Delwar.
On September 2, members of Delwar Bahini entered the woman's house, tied up her husband, sexually assaulted her, and recorded the incident on a mobile phone.
On October 4, they released the video on social media, and it went viral. Later, the victim filed two cases with Begumganj Police Station, naming Delwar Bahini member, Badal, as the main accused and eight other members of the group.
OC Harun-ur-Rashid said, "Delwar is currently on remand in an arms case filed by Rapid Action Battalion with Siddhirganj Police Station in Narayanganj. A petition was filed with the court Tuesday for his arrest in the two previous cases filed by the rape victim."
RAB arrested Kalam from Cumilla's Daudkandi Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, police arrested two more of Delwar's accomplices over the assault on a woman in Begumganj and subsequent release of the video on social media. The arrestees are Sohag and Nur Hossain Russell.
So far, eight people have been arrested over the incident, five of whom have been placed before court and remanded for different durations.
On Sunday, the plaintiff filed two separate cases under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and the Pornography Control Act against nine people, with Badal as the main accused.
Protests upsurge across country
Demanding justice for the Noakhali rape victim and those of other such recent incidents, thousands of protesters took to the streets across the country Wednesday.
Supporters of Save Our Women, a non-profit organisation, formed a human chain in the capital's Shahbagh demanding amendment to the law on rape and speedy trials of rapists.
The organisation also demanded a dedicated court for holding rape trials and the death penalty for rapists.
"No rapist should be above the law. They should be hanged, and the verdict should be given within a month," said Organising Secretary of the organization, Simanto Sarker.
President of the organization, Sanjida Khan said, "We took to the streets because we want our safety at home, outside, and when we go out on the road."
"So many rape incidents have been occurring in the country and many remain unreported. So, we want to raise awareness in society and among families who conceal such incidents," she added.
Besides, hundreds of protesters chanted slogans in front of the National Museum in Shahbagh.
Bangladesh Sadharon Chhatra Odhikar Songrokkhon Parishad also formed a human chain, with participants carrying black flags.
Dhaka University Central Students' Union Vice-President Nurul Haque Nur in his remarks said, "People are being deprived of justice as a culture of factionalism is trending in the justice system."
"We the protesters are continuously getting threatened over this issue," he added.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Secretary General, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said incidents of sexual harassment, rape, and torture had become regular occurrences in the country perpetrated by Awami League's student organisations and their leaders and activists.
He delivered the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at an anti-rape rally of the BNP in front of the National Press Club Wednesday.
People all over the country are protesting against this serious issue, setting aside their fears of the coronavirus, he added.