A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by two men in the district's Sadar upazila on Monday night on the pretext of offering her a lift.
In her complaint, the girl claimed that she had a tiff with her mother over a small issue on July 12. Later in the evening, she left her house and went to Balua Bazar to take a bus to Dhaka.
As she was waiting near a bus ticket counter around 7pm, its in-charge and his assistant wanted to know from the girl why she was out on the streets during lockdown.
When the girl told them that she wanted to go to the national capital, the duo immediately offered to arrange a microbus for her trip. The unsuspecting girl agreed to go with them and got into the vehicle without any hesitation, police said.
However, the duo allegedly took her to an abandoned house in the upazila on the pretext of wrapping up some unfinished work before heading to Dhaka and took turns to rape her.
The girl was later rescued by local residents, according to the police.
A case of rape has been filed at Sadar Police Station against the accused, Kasai Lal Mia and Bakul Prodhan, on the basis of the girl's complaint, said Mahfuzar Rahman, officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station.
"Efforts are on to nab the two accused," he added.
Bangladesh's rape epidemic
Sexual assaults on women continue unabated in Bangladesh, despite the government introducing death penalty for rapes last year.
A police headquarters report, released recently, said that 26,695 rape cases were filed across the country in the past five years.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) data shows that 1,018 children were raped last year alone, but only 683 police cases had been filed. Also, 116 survivors were six years old or below.
Overall, 1,627 rape cases were reported last year and 53 of the women were killed by the perpetrators while 14 took their own lives, as per the data.
However, ASK's data is just the tip of the iceberg, according to aid agencies, who report that most women are too afraid to report rape.
In October 2020, the country was rocked by protests after a woman was allegedly attacked and raped in Noakhali.
In November last year, Bangladesh introduced capital punishment for rape, following days of protests against sexual violence against women in several cities across the country.
But human rights organisations say the move will not solve the country's rape crisis, as the survivors of the heinous crime are often stigmatised in the society.