A day after a college student's body was recovered from a rented Gulshan flat, her family yesterday sued Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir over abetting her death by suicide.
According to the statement of the case filed by the victim's sister with Gulshan Police Station, Anvir, 42, and the college student had been in a romantic relationship.
The victim, 21 years old when she died, had been living alone at the flat since March 1 this year, and security guards of the building told police that the accused used to visit her there.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued a travel ban on Anvir after police submitted a petition seeking a travel ban.
The deceased was a college student hailing from Cumilla.
The body was hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom. Her legs were touching the bed and both knees were a little bent, said the victim's sister in the case statement.
While the complainant accused Tanvir of abetting the death by suicide in the first information report (FIR), the victim's brother-in-law told journalists yesterday that his sister-in-law was murdered.
He talked to journalists at the morgue of Dhaka Medical College from where he received the body after autopsy. Samples were collected from the body for DNA and viscera tests.
"My sister died between 11:00am and 4:30pm on Monday with direct and indirect instigation of Anvir," the complainant mentioned in the case statement.
As evidence, police seized the victim's pictures with Anvir, her diary where she wrote about her love affair with him and two mobile phones.
The victim's body was taken back to Cumilla and buried yesterday evening.
Her brother told our Cumilla correspondent that their father was a freedom fighter who died in 2015, and their mother passed away in 2018.
According to the case statement, in 2019, Anvir took the victim to a rented flat in the city's Banani and they started living together.
Last year, Anvir's family came to know about his relation with the victim and his mother threatened the victim with dire consequences, asking her to leave Dhaka, the complainant said in the FIR.
The accused, Anvir, then sent the victim to Cumilla assuring her that he would marry her later, the FIR added.
According to the FIR, on March 1, the victim's sister and brother-in-law rented the Gulshan flat using their national identity cards at the insistence of Anvir.
After the flat was rented, Anvir brought the victim to the flat in Gulshan from Cumilla, it added.
"I heard from my sister [victim] that accused Anvir will settle abroad after marrying her as his parents may kill my sister if they came to know about their relationship," the complainant said in the case statement.
Since March 1, Anvir had visited the flat at different times.
The complainant said the victim called her on April 23 and said Anvir had scolded her because she went to the residence of the owner of the rented flat and the owner's wife took her photo and uploaded it on Facebook.
Anvir scolded her saying that she visited the residence of his enemies, the case statement added.
The accused also told the victim that his mother would come to know everything after her picture was uploaded. Anvir then said he would travel to Dubai on April 27 and asked the victim to go back to Cumilla.
The complainant said her sister called her mobile phone at 9:00am on April 25 and told her that Anvir would not marry her and had scolded her. She also said she is in trouble and an accident may happen any time.
The victim also asked her to come to Dhaka as soon as possible.
The complainant said on her way to Dhaka the following day she had called her sister repeatedly, but the victim did not answer. Around 4:15pm she reached the flat and pressed the doorbell but none answered.
When she informed the flat owner, the manager of the building called a mechanic who broke the lock and she found her sister hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom.
Police rushed to the flat and recovered the body after being informed by the manager.
Talking to this correspondent, the son-in-law of the flat owner said they rented out the flat when the victim, her sister and brother-in-law came and said they would live there.
"Later, we came to know that only the victim was living there," the flat owner's son-in-law said.
Asked, he said they did not know whether the Bashundhara MD used to go there.
"All are captured on CCTV footage which police took away. They can track it," he said.
He added that it was a three-bedroom flat and the rent is Tk 1 lakh with a service charge of Tk 11,000.
Sudip Chakrabarty, deputy commissioner of Gulshan division police, said, "We are investigating the allegations. If we find primary evidence against the accused, we will go for legal action against him."
Police initially found evidence that the victim was acquainted with Anvir, who used to visit her there, the DC said.
Another police official said there are many photos of the man with the girl in the flat. Digital devices used by the deceased were seized for forensic analysis.
BAN ON TRAVEL
Yesterday, Investigation Officer of the case Abul Hasan, officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station, submitted a petition to a Dhaka court seeking a travel ban on Anvir as he may leave the country to avoid arrest.
After the hearing, the magistrate directed police authorities to send the order sheet to the chief of the special branch (immigration) to take further steps in this regard. The court directed the IO to submit a probe report on the case by May 30.
A news outlet had published a report yesterday claiming that Anvir had already left the country on Monday evening.
When asked, a top official of Aviation Security (AVSEC) at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport said they have information that the Bashundhara MD tried to leave the country on Monday but eventually could not.
"We also have information that he is still trying to leave the country," he added.
The AVSEC official also said that the Bashundhara MD's wife left the country on Monday evening on a cargo flight. The departure documents kept at the VIP gate recorded that the "wife of Sayem Sobhan" left HSIA on a cargo flight at 4:30pm on Monday.
The Daily Star could not independently confirm whether the Bashundhara MD or his wife actually left the country.
The Daily Star tried repeatedly to call a mobile number that is believed to be Anvir's but found it busy.
The newspaper also called and texted Mohammad Abu Tayeb, Bashundhara Group's media adviser, but he neither answered nor replied.
As per the editorial policy of The Daily Star, we did not use the victim's photo or reveal her identity.