Two Maldivian suspects arrested in connection with rape, assault and robbery of a young Indian teacher on Dhangethi in Alif Dhaal Atoll in February have been released, while a Bangladeshi national remains in custody.
The Bangladeshi suspect was taken into police custody after the incident as he was about to board a boat departing for Male’.
A community member from Dhangethi claimed that a large number of people came to the harbour prior to the police’s departure with the suspect and called for the Bangladeshi man to “face due justice,” according to Sun Online.
“Some people tried to attack the Bangladeshi man at the time of his arrest, and the conflict was encouraged by the island council,” alleged the source.
The Dhangethi Island Council denied allegations of encouraging a violent confrontation, but confirmed some people at the harbour did attempt to harm the suspect before police brought the situation under control.
Head of the Police Serious and Organised Crime Department, Mohamed Dawood, told local media that it was believed the Bangladeshi man had committed the rape.
“We monitored all vessels leaving the island during the investigation. In that regard, we first took the two Maldivians into custody. But later we arrested the Bangladesh man who was living on the island as his behavior was suspicious,” Dawood explained to Haveeru.
The three men were accused not only of raping the 25 year-old computer teacher, but of stealing her mobile phone, an Acer laptop, and MVR 9000 (US$583) in cash, a source with knowledge of the investigation told Minivan News.
Police recovered the victim’s belongings, and a knife believed to have been used to threaten the woman, inside the home of the Bangladeshi national.
The three suspects were taken by police to the island of Mahibadhoo in Alifu Dhaalu Atoll. None of the men arrested were over the age of 23, the source said.
The young woman suffered serious sexual trauma, according to police.
Speaking to Minivan News on February 11, an informed source said the woman had been transferred to the atoll hospital’s intensive care unit and was “bleeding uncontrollably” following the attack.
“The victim was taken to Mahibadhoo Hospital where she is being treated for the injuries she suffered from the incident. There was blood all over her room when the police attended the scene,” the source told Minivan News.
According to local media, when police arrived at the scene the young woman was found slumped near her bed, which was covered in blood.
A source close to the victim told Minivan News February 23 that the woman was subsequently transferred to a hospital in India.
“She has still not recovered from the attack, I have been in contact with her, but now she is in India,” he added.
The incident occurred on Sunday (February 10) – some time between 2:30am and 2:45am, the source said.
Local media reported that the woman was teaching a private computer course on the island.
Island Council President Adam said the young woman had been working on the island for less than a month, and described her as a “very kind person who was very friendly towards the local islanders”.
Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News he was checking whether the investigation is still ongoing or if a case has been filed with the Prosecutor General’s office.
The Prosecutor General’s office was not responding to calls at the time of press.