A Chittagong court has sentenced five men to death for rape after abducting an adolescent girl in Banshkhali Upazila in 1997.
Judge Md Rejaul Karim of Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1 handed down the death penalty on Sunday.
Rashid Ahmed, Md Nasir, Nurul Absar, Kabir Ahmed, and Md Kenu are all on the run and from Banshkhali’s Purba Chambal.
According to case details, the convicts abducted the girl from the neighbourhood on Apr 10, 1997 and took turn to rape her.
Two days later, the victim’s mother filed a case with the Banshkhali police.
Police pressed charges against the five on Aug 24 that year and the court took those into cognisance on Oct 10 the following year.
Prosecutor Chandan Talukdar told bdnews24.com they could prove the charges against the criminals beyond doubt.
The verdict came after five of the seven witnesses deposed.
Odhikar, a Bangladesh rights group, reported 805 rape cases in 2012. Of them, 437 were children below the age of 17 and 39 were killed after being raped, 84 were victims of gang rape and 10 committed suicide as a result of trauma following the rape.
The group observed the number of rapes by men in uniform had also increased last year.
In the wake of a series of rapes, the High Court on Jan 29 this year directed police not to wait for anybody to come and file a rape case on their own if they had information.