Police have arrested one of the armed robbers who allegedly hijacked a Chattogram-bound bus from Kushtia in Tangail, robbed its passengers of their belongings and raped a young woman.
The arrestee was identified as Raja Mia, 32, a bus driver by profession and son of Harun of Kalihati upazila in Tangail.
He also said efforts are on to arrest the other bandits involved in the incident.
During primary interrogation, Raja confessed to his involvement in the incident and disclosed the names of others involved in it, the SP said.
Meanwhile, a Tangail court put the accused on a five-remand over the incident after police produced him before it.
The spine-chilling incident took place in Madhupur upazila of Tangail on Dhaka-Tangail highway in the early hours of Wednesday when the bus was on its way to Chattogram from Kushtia.
Posing as passengers, a gang of robbers, numbering 10, boarded the bus in three groups in a span of 10 minutes from 11pm on Tuesday after it resumed its journey following a stopover at a hotel in Sirajganj district, Kaisar said. He said three hoodlums got on the bus first, then four others after five minutes and three more boarded the vehicle after another five minutes.
"When the bus reached Natiapara in Sadar upazila of Tangail on Dhaka-Tangail highway around 12:00am on Wednesday, the robbers brandished guns, took control of the bus at gunpoint and Raja held the steering,” he said, adding that the robbers then drove towards Madhupur making a U-turn.
On an isolated stretch of the highway, the bandits robbed the passengers of cash, jewellery and handsets. "The robbers then blindfolded the passengers and raped the woman in turns," Kaisar said.
The passengers' ordeal continued for over three hours till the criminals forced them to get off the bus and drove the vehicle towards Raktipara where they abandoned it and fled with the booty, he said.
“Detectives are investigating the incident and all the robbers will be arrested soon,” the SP said, adding that the rape victim was being treated at Tangail General Hospital.
Meanwhile, the evidence of rape was found in the medical test carried out at Tangail General Hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Assistant Professor Rehana Parveen at Sheikh Hasina Medical College's gynecology department said a three-member medical team conducted the test, which indicated signs of struggle.
Primarily, it was suspected that the woman was raped, she said.
After the medical test, the victim was taken to court for recording her statement, said Tangail court inspector Tanvir Ahmed.
Earlier on May 30 last year, police arrested six people in connection with the gang rape of a 22-year-old girl in a moving bus in Savar area of Dhaka.