For her birthday yesterday, all she wanted was a teddy bear from her parents. Billal Hossain, her uncle, was going to buy her one as a surprise.
But the day which was supposed to become a cherished memory for the family suddenly took a tragic turn.
Billal was found wailing near the entrance of their rented home in Demra's Konapara area around 1:00pm. Their neighbours thronged the building on the capital's Samiul Ahsan Road trying to come up with soothing words, but in vain. Many of them could not hold back their own tears.
The family lost their five-year-old daughter Faria Akter Dola on Monday night. She along with her friend Nusrat Jahan, also 5, was found murdered inside the house of one of their neighbours, Golam Mostafa, a 28-year-old garment worker.
Mostafa immediately went into hiding.
Nusrat's mother Fahima Akther, a housewife, looked shell-shocked yesterday inside her tin-shed house a few yards away from Dola's. She vacantly stared out the window into the distance.
Hours before her body was found, Nusrat had gone to school -- Konapara Ideal School -- for the first time. After coming back home, she went outside around 2:00pm to play with Dola, her classmate.
They went missing from there.
Worried sick, their family members mounted a search in the locality. They made announcements through megaphones and even took to social media, sharing photos of the girls.
Around 9:45pm, the bodies were found on Mostafa's bed, locals said.
On information, police recovered and later handed them over to the families following autopsies at Sir Salimullah Medical College (SSMC) morgue yesterday.
Doctors at the hospital said both the children were strangled to death and that they were analysing forensic samples.
Mostafa, his wife and their child have been living in a rented house for the last four months. During the time of the incident, Mostafa's wife and the child were outside, police said.
Dola's mother Parvin Begum, a garment worker, said she and her husband Faridul Islam, a tin container factory owner, had dreams for Dola to become a doctor one day. “I had recently opened a Tk1000 monthly savings account to fulfill that dream,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
Parvin and Faridul used to go out to work every morning and Dola used to stay with her grandmother.
“When I used to come back home, she used to kiss me, hug me and often asked me to bring her dolls,” Parvin sobbed while talking to this correspondent at her tin-shed home.
Pointing to Dola's schoolbag, Parvin said, “Look, I have brought all new books and bags for my daughter. What will I do with these?”
Locals said Mostafa's brother-in-law Md Hossain first spotted the girls' shoes outside the home of the accused, when their family members were on the search. Mostafa stormed out of his room and fled as Hossain knocked on the door, they said.
Mostafa's wife and brother-in-law were in police custody for questioning.
Iftekhairul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of police (Demra Division), said they were hopeful about cracking the case soon. “We are raiding different places to arrest him [Mostafa],” he said yesterday.
Nusrat's father Palash Hawlader filed a case against Mostafa and his neighbour Azizul Bawani with Demra Police Station.
Later in the day, police sources said Mostafa and Azizul were arrested.
Meanwhile, locals in Konapara and Demra formed a human chain and held a protest rally yesterday demanding capital punishment to the killer[s].
They suspected the victims had been raped before being murdered.