The untimely death of Raudha Athif is saddening and mysterious. The 21-year-old from the Maldives came to Rajshahi with dreams of studying medicine.
As a model, she had made it to the cover of Vogue India magazine. She could have gone to any other country, studied at any other institution, but she was studying medicine in Bangladesh, at Rajshahi Islami Bank Medical College - an institution not many would know of.
The death of Raudha came as a shock to her friends, her family, and the college authorities.
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Raudha’s friend Ayesha Naz Fayaz, another student from her native country, broke down in tears while talking to the Dhaka Tribune.
She pointed towards a pair of swing sets in the courtyard of the girl’s dormitory.
“Raudha and I… we spent three days to build those swings. We would sit, talk, and laugh till we cried while on the swing,” Ayesha said.
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Raudha and her friend made the swing sets all by themselves at the medical college Dhaka Tribune
“The swing sets are there, but she’s not.”
Raudha and Ayesha lived right next to each other in the dorm, their doors were always open for each other.
“Around 11pm Wednesday, she came into my room asking for my laptop. I couldn’t lend it to her since it was out of charge. She went back to her room…that was the last time I saw her, alive.”
The medical school has 45 foreign students. Among them, 15 were girls, who were allotted a separate block in the dormitory.
Students and teachers alike are in a quandary over her death. No one could have ever imagined Raudha taking her life as she thrived among life.
Who could question her passion for life?
Raudha’s mother Aminath Muharmimath arrived at Rajshahi on Thursday afternoon with Maldives Ambassador Aishath Shaan Shakir by plane. Her father Mohammad Athif will also join them on Thursday night. Aminath and Aishath spoke to the college authorities to discuss the matter.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police spokesperson Iftekhar Alam said the police suspect the cause of death to be suicide, brought on by depression.
He said: “Her friends could not tell us much about her personal life. There is very little we know.”
Raudha’s parents will sit down with the police and decide on the autopsy.
Raudha stood out among the students as one of the most vivacious and friendliest people at the college. Her modeling career was no deterrence for her academic prowess.
College Secretary Abdul Aziz Riyad said: “What she wore as a model was definitely against our dress code. But that was only when she was out working. On campus, she dressed modestly and paid due respect to everyone. She respected our rules, and we respected her choices. The college would never force its rules on someone’s personal life.”
Riyad, on behalf of the college, filed a case of accidental death on Wednesday night with the police.
Riyad said Raudha was never issued any notice for her clothing and mentioned that she always abided by the college dress code.
To mourn Raudha, all the classes and exams on Thursday were cancelled. Riyad said a probe committee was formed to look into her death.
Raudha was found dead in her dorm room on Wednesday morning, hanging from the ceiling fan.