Victims say they were tortured for years
Rapid Action Battalion has rescued three domestic helps after raiding the residence of American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) founder Ishtiaque Abedin in Dhaka.
The crime prevention company (CPC) 3 of RAB 4 conducted a drive at Ishtiaque's house located in Banani DOHS on Thursday evening following complaints filed by the families of the victims.
RAB 4 Deputy Commanding Officer Rafiqul Hasan confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
The rescued women are -- Joynab Begum, 17, Rina Begum, 30, and her daughter Rabeya Begum, 12 -- all residents of Debirchar of Lalmohan upazila in Bhola.
"All of them were handed over to their guardians. No one was detained or arrested in this connection," the RAB official said.
However, Joynab alleged that they were held captive at the house and barred to meet or talk on mobile phones with their relatives.
Joynab also alleged that she has been tortured while staying at the house.
Comments from RAB over the matter were not available immediately.
Ishtiaque Abedin said: "The three girls have been working and living at my place like family members for a long time. I have supported them at all times. Three days ago, Rina and Rabeya left my place after discussion, and on Thursday, Joynab left on her own will. Later, I received a call from Bhasantek police station and came to know of the allegations. If I had hurt them, how could they work at my place for so long?"
"I have built them houses, provided jobs to their family members, and even bought them land. They might have become victims of fraud," he added.
Joynab, the third child of her family, was brought to work for Ishtiaque Abedin and Sabrina Abedin when she was eight, through a relative named Aiyub.
While talking to journalists at one of her cousin’s rented room in Mohammadpur, it was seen that her left eye had a blood clot. When asked how her eye was injured, she said that it happened when her employer Sabrina kicked her while beating her.
Moreover, Joynab alleged that Sabrina used to beat her until she was bloody, most of the time.
Previously, they were brutally beaten by the manager of her employers’ residence and after he left, Sabrina started beating them herself.
The other two domestic workers, Rina and her daughter Rabeya also alleged that their employers used to beat them regularly.
Rina told the media that Sabrina strangled her while torturing, which left marks on her neck. She alleged that Sabrina used to hit them with belts.
Furthermore, Rabeya said that their employers tasked three male servants to keep them under constant surveillance. They would keep an eye on them wherever they went inside the house or on the roof. They used to eavesdrop from outside the toilet to hear if they were talking to anybody when they were inside.