Law enforcers yesterday arrested the main accused in the case over Beauty Akhter's rape and murder in Habiganj.
Babul Mia, 30, was arrested from Beanibazar area of Sylhet by a joint team of Rapid Action Battalion and police around 12:30am, additional superintendent of police Maniruzzaman, senior assistant director (Media) of Rab-9, said.
The arrest comes after countrywide outrage after a photograph of Beauty's body lying on a field went viral on Facebook. Many criticised the police for failing to take proper action after a rape case was filed against Babul Mia. Others say Beauty would not have subsequently been murdered had action been taken against Babul.
Victim's father Sayed Ali, a day labour of the area, told this correspondent that he has been receiving death threats since he filed the murder case against Babul.
"What did my daughter do? I want justice for my daughter,' he said.
Beauty's mother Husneara Begum, a worker of a factory, said it was not only her daughter but many other girls whom Babul teased and stalked in the area. He sexually harassed many young girls. One young female worker at her factory, Nazma, lost her job when she could not travel to work because of Babul stalking her.
Many residents of Brahmandora village have come forward to speak out.
Tonu Mia, a local, told this correspondent that Babul was locally known for his lust for teenagers. He kept the company of criminals and had himself set up a gang of thieves and robbers in the area, he alleged.
Moina Mia, another resident said, "Everyone knows that Babul is a bad guy. But no one has dared protest because his mother is a very influential local politician. We demand Babul's exemplary punishment so that no one else dare do such things in the future."
Babul Mia is the son of late Mauli Mia of Brahmandora village. In 2010 he got married to one Taslima Akhter and is a father of two sons.
Local UP member Farid Mia said, "Babul's mother Kolomchan Bibi -- also a UP member -- is a loan shark. She protects her son while he is involved in such heinous and unethical activities. "
Hussain Md Adil Joj Mia, chairman of Brahmandora union, told this correspondent, "We all know Babul was harassing teenagers but he had not dared go so far before this incident. We want his punishment."
Meanwhile, ASM Shamsur Rahman Bhuiyan, chief of the investigation committee and additional superintendent of police, said, "We have started the investigation into this case. I hope to complete it within three days."
He also added that they are looking into allegations of negligence by the investigating officer of the rape case against Babul.
Babul had been harassing and stalking 16-year-old Beauty Akhter for such a long time that she had to stop going to school. Later, she took a job at a factory and Babul started stalking her again. On January 21, he abducted Beauty with the help of his cohorts and held her at an unknown location for a whole month where he repeatedly raped her.
A month later, Babul let Beauty go and her father filed a rape and abduction case against the rapist and his mother Kolomchan Bibi - a member of Brahmandora Union Parishad - at the district's Woman and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal on March 1.
When Babul started threatening Beauty's family to withdraw the case, her father became worried for his daughter's safety and sent Beauty to her grandfather's house at Gunipur village in Lakhai upazila on March 13.
On the night of March 16, Babul reportedly abducted Beauty from there. This time he killed her after raping her. Police recovered her body the next day from Brahmandora Haor area in Shayestaganj upazila in Habiganj.
On March 18, Beauty's father Sayed Ali filed a murder case accusing Babul and several unknown others at Shayestaganj police station.
Police detained Babul's mother Kolomchan Bibi and another suspect Ismail on March 21.