The body was handed over to parents after finding out Lakingme Chakma was an underage girl
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Monday handed over the body of a girl named Lakingme Chakma, after lying in the morgue of Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital for 25 days, to her parents and relatives.
RAB-15 Sub-Inspector (SI) Arjun Chowdhury, the investigating officer of the case, handed over the body of Lakingme following a court order.
Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital Residential Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Shaheen Md Abdur Rahman Chowdhury confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
SI Arjun Chowdhury said: “We found out during investigation that Lakingme was an underage girl. So if she was married then it would be illegal, as per the law. So Lakingme’s body was handed over to her parents to perform the last rites rituals according to her religious belief.”
Lakingme’s father, Lala Aung said his daughter Lakingme was abducted by four or five youths on January 5, 2020.
He filed an abduction case with the Cox's Bazar District Women and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal on January 27, 2020.
Lala Aung mentioned in the case file that his daughter is 14 years and 10 months old and submitted her birth certificate to prove the claim.
On December 9, 2020, a few people brought Lakingme Chakma to the emergency room of the hospital and said she had taken poison, Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital RMO Dr Shaheen Md Abdur Rahman Chowdhury said.
After examining Lakingme, the duty doctor declared that she had died before she was brought to the hospital and informed the police.
Police then sent the body to the morgue for an autopsy which was conducted on December 10.
The legal complication began over receiving Lakingme’s body from the hostial, when a man named Ataullah claimed Lakigme as her wife and appealed to the police to hand over the body to him.
After hearing the news of her daughter's untimely death, Lala Aung also rushed to the hospital and requested for the body of Lakingme.
On December 15, Lala Aung appealed to the Teknaf Judicial Magistrate's Court to hand over Lakingme’s body to him.
The court accepted the application after hearing the case and directed RAB to take necessary steps in this regard.
After scrutinizing the birth certificate, the RAB official handed over Lakingme’s body to her family.
What happened earlier
Following Lakingme’s alleged abduction on January 5, Lala Aung had informed the local union council member Md Hafeez about the matter and requested to rescue his daughter. However, the UP member did not take any action.
Later, Lala Aung started looking for his daughter in different places. He even met Ataullah's relatives to resolve the matter but did not get Lakingme back.
He then went to Teknaf police station and tried to file a kidnapping case. However, the then officer in-charge Pradeep Kumar Das refused to file the case.
Later he filed the case with Cox's Bazar District Women and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal accusing Ataullah and others of abducting his daughter.
The tribunal judge then directed the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to investigate the case.
But the PBI, in its report submitted to the court, said no evidence was found that proves Lakingme was abducted. So the report mentioned that Lakingme voluntarily went with Ataullah.
Plaintiff Lala Aung filed a no confidence petition over the report of the investigating officer. The court fixed January 28 for the next hearing in the case, said plaintiff's lawyer Md Mohi Uddin Khan.
Moreover, Lakingme had given birth to a baby boy 13 days before her death. The boy is currently with Ataullah’s family.
Farah Tanzim Titil, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Kushtia Islamic University, one of the members of the human rights group who visited the village of Lakingme Chakma on December 28, said two things were cleared after talking to eyewitnesses and Ataullah's family members.
Firstly, Lakingme did not voluntarily go with anyone and was a victim of a planned abduction. Secondly, according to the country's law, she is a minor and was not allowed to be married, said Farah Tanzim Titil.