Autopsies confirm that the mother and her daughter were strangled while the son was found with a slit throat
Police are yet to determine whether the three members of a family at Dhaka’s Uttarkhan committed suicide or were murdered on Sunday night.
While they are considering that the family committed suicide, autopsy reports have thrown a curveball at the police.
The bodies of Jahanara Khatun Mukta, 48, her son Muhibub Hassan Rothi, 27, and daughter Tasfiya Sultana Mim, 20, were recovered from a one-storey house in Uttarkhan’s Moynartek area around 9:30pm on Sunday.
After conducting the autopsies, Dr Sohel Mahmud, head of the Forensic Medicine department at Dhaka Medical College, on Monday afternoon told reporters that the mother and sister were strangulated and the brother died after his throat was slit.
“We also found wounds on the mother’s throat and abdomen,” he added.
Asked if these were suicides or homicides, Dr Sohel said: “These are appearing to be murders. But we will be able to say for sure after visiting the crime scene.”
However, Uttarkhan police station OC Helal Uddin told Dhaka Tribune the door of the family’s house was locked from the inside.
He said: "After being notified by the locals, we went to the house and had to break the door down, only to find the bodies lying on the floor.
“We also recovered a machete and some bottles as evidence from the house.”
“We think they might have committed suicide. We have found suicide notes that were written by different persons,” he added.
OC Helal said the note found beside Jahanara, a housewife, said their misfortune and negligence from their relatives were responsible for their death. “The note also said the family’s assets should be donated to a charity organization.”
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) also found another note with the same message beside Muhibub, who completed his honors from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology and masters from Bangladesh University of Professionals.
A case is yet to be filed over the incident. Relatives said they would think about the legal course after the funeral, police said,
“If they do not file one, police with start an unnatural death case. But if evidence suggest any other way, then we will file that type of case,” he said.
What the relatives say
Asad Ullah, uncle of Muhibub and Tasfiya, told Dhaka Tribune that the family came to Dhaka from Bhairab on May 5 and he spoke to them last the next day.
About the notes, he said he believed they “committed suicide” because of their frustration over the declining condition of a mentally challenged Tasfiya, but declined to comment further.
Jahanara’s elder brother Monirul Haque said they all supported his sister’s family. “I never noticed that they were rejected support from any relative.
“I think they probably were psychologically dissatisfied because they thought they were helpless. After my brother-in-law died two years ago, they did not receive his pension.”
Monirul said he told his sister that he would build a tin-shed house on his own land for her family. “They came to Dhaka for this reason. I told them to rent a place until their house is ready. The construction work was supposed to start next Friday. This was my last conversation with my sister.”
About Tasfiya, he said: “The girl was mentally challenged. She would not eat, take bath, screamed, and use to run outside.”
But his niece, who never went to school, was not aggressive enough to kill anyone, he added.