Dhaka, Feb 9: Bangladesh Police today arrested the alleged rapist of a teenage girl, who was whipped to death following a 'fatwa' in western Shariatpur district, even as a fresh autposy established that there were injury marks on her body.
Police in Shariatpur district in the Dhaka division said they arrested the man who is alleged to have raped 15-year old Hena from Savar town on the outskirts of the capital on a secret tip off.
"Mahbub (the rapist) was arrested from an abandoned house at Savar on a tip off and brought him to Shariatpur, for questioning and subsequent legal formalities," a senior police official told PTI.
Mosammet Hena, 15, was sentenced by the local mosque to be caned after being allegedly raped by her married cousin and then accused of having an affair with him.
Hena, who was raped by her cousin, was sentenced to receive 101 lashes by a village panchayat made up of elders and Muslim clerics, for the crime of being a child raped by an adult. Hena's father Dorbesh Khan was ordered to pay a fine of $ 700, and the panchayat ordered that the rapist Mahboob should marry the girl.
She endured about 80 lashes before collapsing on Jan 31. Her family took her to a hospital, where she died.
“What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice. If it had been a proper court then my daughter would not have died,” Dorbesh Khan, the girl's father, told the BBC.
Family members said Hena was raped by a 40-year-old married cousin, The Daily Star said. The man's family beat up the teen, then accused her of adultery, the newspaper said.
The very next day, she was sentenced to the flogging in a fatwa, or religious ruling, issued by the village council under Islamic Shariah law, the BBC said.
Four people, including a Muslim cleric, have been arrested in connection with Hena's death, the BBC said. Police said they were looking for another 14 people in the case.
Bangladesh's high court has ordered district officials in Shariatpur to explain why they did not protect the girl, The Daily Star said. The court ruled eight months ago that Shariah punishment was illegal.