Agitated family members of a female domestic help and locals clashed with police on Friday afternoon following the woman's mysterious death in Banasree area of Rampura in Dhaka.
The deceased, Laili, 25, was reportedly found hanging from the ceiling in a room of the residence she was employed at earlier on Friday.
Laili's employer, Munshi Moinuddin, an employee of Nasir Group of Industries and owner of the house, told reporters that Laili went to work on Friday morning like every day.
Later in the morning, she locked herself in one of the rooms in the flat, Moinuddin added. “We knocked the door repeatedly, but she did not open it. Later we called up the building’s caretaker Tipu and broke into the room to find Laili hanging from the ceiling. We took her down and rushed her to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).”
Sub-Inspector Bacchu Mia of DMCH police outpost confirmed that Laili had been brought in to the hospital by her employer and a few others.
“The doctors declared her dead around 10:30am. The body has been sent to the morgue for a postmortem examination,” Bacchu added.
A Kurigram native, Laili lived with her two children in a shanty close to her employer’s residence. Her husband Nazrul Islam is currently in jail in India.
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Police attempting to disperse protesters from in front of a house in Rampura where a female domestic help was found dead Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
Meanwhile, a rumour spread in the neighbourhood that Laili had been hacked to death, prompting her family members, neighbours and locals to gather in front of the house to protest.
They staged a demonstration, hurling bricks at the house, vandalising vehicles and setting a microbus on fire on the street.
As police went to the spot, the protesters clashed with them claiming that the law enforcement officials were helping Laili's employer to cover up the murder.
However, DMCH outpost Sub-Inspector Bachhu said during primary examination, doctors had found only bruises around her neck, and no hacking wounds. “The final report will reveal the cause of her death.”
Additional Deputy Commissioner Saidur Rahman of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Motijheel Division said police fired tear shells and shot rubber bullets at the protesters to disperse them and bring the situation under control.
“We are trying to find out how she died, which can be confirmed by the postmortem examination,” he added.
Police detained Moinuddin and a guard of the building on Friday evening. The unrest in the area deteriorated as the evening progressed with protesters taking position at four positions near the building.
Additional police members were deployed in the area to bring the situation under control and the building was cordoned off for security, said DMP Deputy Commissioner (Motijheel Division) last night.
Rampura police station OC Moinul Islam Khan said police were investigating Laili's death and action would be taken if anyone was found to be involved with the incident.