Seven armed men posing as passengers allegedly hijacked a Chattogram-bound bus in Tangail, robbed commuters of cash and belongings, and raped a 25-year-old woman at gunpoint.
The spine-chilling crime occurred in the Raktipara area of Tangail's Madhupur upazila off the Dhaka-Tangail Highway in the early hours of Wednesday, police said.
Sarkar Md Kaisar, superintendent of Tangail Police, said the bus of ‘Eagle Paribahan’, with 24 passengers on board, was on its way to Chattogram from Kushtia late on Tuesday night when the crime occurred.
Three of the seven robbers boarded the bus around 11pm on Tuesday after it resumed its journey following a stopover at a hotel in Sirajganj district. And some 5-10 minutes later, four more got into the bus, police said.
"Around 12am on Wednesday, when the bus took the busy Dhaka-Tangail Highway in the Natiapara area, the robbers whiffed out guns, hijacked the vehicle and forced the driver to drive towards Madhupur upazila," the SP said.
On a desolate stretch, the armed gang robbed the commuters of cash, jewellery and mobile phones. "The robbers then blindfolded the passengers and raped the woman commuter on board," the SP said.
The passengers' ordeal continued for over three hours till the seven criminals forced them to get off the bus and drove the heavy vehicle towards Raktipara's Jam-e-Mosque, where they abandoned it and fled with the booty, police said.
“Detectives are investigating the crime and all the robbers will be arrested soon,” said SP Kaiser. "The woman is being treated at Tangail General Hospital, and her medical test is slated for Wednesday."