DHAKA (Reuters) – Bangladesh police said on Monday they have arrested 10 men, including a ruling party worker, in connection with the alleged gang rape of a woman who voted for the main opposition group in a controversial general election last month.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling alliance, led by the Awami League, won more than 90 percent of the seats contested in the Dec. 30 election that was marred by accusations of ballot stuffing, voter intimidation and violence that killed at least 19 people.
The United Nations said on Friday that there were “worrying indications” that reprisals have continued to take place, notably against the political opposition.
The Awami League denied the charges and said it did not believe in “politics of revenge”.
Police said medical examination of the woman has confirmed sexual assault and police said they were also investigating complaints of threats against her family following the arrests over the past few days.
The Awami League said it has already suspended the main accused, Ruhul Amin, from the party. Reuters could not contact Amin’s family.
The woman’s husband told Reuters that a group of 10-12 men barged into their house in the southeastern district of Noakhali on the night of the election, tied up him and his four children inside the house, and raped her outside one by one.
The husband said she was raped because she voted for the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
“We could not do anything,” the husband said from her hospital bedside, adding that he had received threats on his phone to withdraw the complaint with police.
(Reporting by Serajul Quadir and writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Nick Macfie)