Sumaiya woke up to see her parents at a police station yesterday, 24 days after she was kidnapped from her house in the capital's Kamrangichar.
And as she saw them, she burst into tears. The last time the five-year-old was awake, she was confined to a house in Rahmatbagh area of Kadamtali.
The mother held her into her arms and began kissing her. “The parents were also crying with joy,” said Shaheen Fakir, officer-in-charge of Kamrangichar Police Station.
Sumaiya, daughter of Zakir Hossain and Munia Begum, had been playing in the yard in front of their rented house on the afternoon of April 2 before going missing.
Police came to know about the abductor scrutinising CCTV footage of the road. Sumaiya in the footage was seen going with a woman wearing burqa, police said.
The kidnapper was identified by police as Sabina Akhter Brishti, 28, who used to live in the house where Zakir's family lives now. Police arrested Brishti and her father Sirajul Islam and detained three others for interrogation.
On April 2, Brishti came to meet the owner of the house where she used to live six months ago. Sumaiya went missing as she left the place that day.
Zakir then filed an abduction case with the police station.
Briefing reporters at the Dhaka Metropolitan Police media centre, Ibrahim Khan, deputy commissioner of Lalbagh Division, said they would find out the motive behind the abduction.
Police suspected that the child was picked up either for trafficking her to India, as Brishti was a frequent traveler to the neighbouring country, or to rear her up as her child since she does not have any.
The abductor did not demand any ransom for her release, police said.
About the rescue operation, Ibrahim said that on information from sources and through mobile tracking police got to know where Sumaiya had been held.
Accordingly, police conducted a raid around 4:30am and rescued Sumaiya.
The girl had marks of torture on her body, the parents said.
A cheerful Sumaiya with her parents arrived at the DMP media centre yesterday morning. She was seen hugging and kissing her parents, laughing, and talking with journalists.
Sumaiya will be officially handed over to her parents after a court order.
Meanwhile, the two arrestees were taken on three-day remand.
Talking to reporters, Zakir, an employee of a local steel workshop, expressed his gratitude to police for rescuing his child.
Zakir said he didn't have any idea as to why Birshti had abducted his daughter and that he didn't have any enmity with her.