Family gets threatening phone calls
Family members of Afsana Ferdaus, whose body was left at a hospital in the capital's Mirpur on Saturday, have alleged that unknown callers are trying to intimidate them by asking not to do any “excess” regarding the death.
The victim's brother Fazle Rabbi claimed that he and his family members received at least 10 phone calls from people who asked them to come to Dhaka and “discuss the matter” rather than seeking legal action.
“The protests [over her death] were impressive. But will it bring any result? Come to Dhaka and let's have a chat,” Rabbi quoted a caller as saying.
The callers have been identifying themselves as cousins and brothers of a Tejgaon College unit Chhatra League leader against whom there are allegations of killing Afsana, Rabbi said.
On Saturday evening, two men took Afsana, a final-year student of architecture department at SAIC Institute of Management and Technology, to Al Helal Hospital in Mirpur and left the hospital, hospital sources said.
An unknown person phoned Afsana's mother in Thakurgaon the same day and said Afsana's body was at a hospital in Dhaka.
Her relatives found the body on Sunday morning at the Dhaka Medical College morgue after a frantic search throughout the night.
Talking to The Daily Star, Rabbi, also a Chhatra League leader in Thakurgaon, said he suspects that his sister was murdered and that is why unknown people called him and asked him to stay quiet.
“You live 500 kilometres from Dhaka. Will you be able to do much by filing a case? Come to Dhaka and let's have a settlement,” Rabbi quoted a caller as saying.
Meanwhile, there were demonstrations in Dhaka and Thakurgaon, demanding a fair probe into the death and arrest of the perpetrator(s).
Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra Union held a press conference at Dhaka University yesterday while students, teachers, journalists and women leaders formed a human chain at Thakurgaon over the death.
Speaking at the press conference, Chhatra Union General Secretary GM Zilani Shubho said, “Chhatra League activists are trying to protect the murderers with muscle power. Its Tejgoan College unit leaders and activists had beaten up our activists on Wednesday when they tried to join a protest rally. Four of our activists were injured.”
He also alleged that Afsana was raped before murder.
AKM Shafiquzzaman, assistant professor at Dhaka Medical College, said there was a deep round mark around the victim's neck. Other than that, there were no injury marks on her body, he added.
He, however, said it was too early to determine the cause of her death as some reports were not ready.
Chhatra Union also announced that it would submit a memorandum to the home ministry on August 22, demanding immediate arrest and punishment of Afsana's killer(s).
It also announced nationwide protest at deputy commissioners' offices today.
Kafrul police, who are investigating the case, said they recorded it as an unnatural death case and were yet to nab any suspect.
Afsana used to live in a one-room apartment, which she shared with another girl, at Manikdi in Dhaka Cantonment area. But the incident did not take place there, police said.
At a human chain in Thakurgaon, residents of the town demanded arrest and exemplary punishment of Afsana's “killer(s)”.
Abu Torab Manik, president of Thakurgaon Press Club, Suchorita Dev, general secretary of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, and local UP Chairman Anil Chandra Sen, among others, spoke at the protest.
The speakers demanded a proper investigation into Afsana's death. They also said effective steps must be taken to ensure punishment of the perpetrator(s).
Narayanganj district unit of Bangladesh Chhatra Union formed a human chain in front of Narayanganj Press Club yesterday demanding justice for the “murder”.