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Dhaka Tribune

Was Rahima Begum really missing?

Police found her 29 days later from Faridpur

Update : 25 Sep 2022, 04:09 PM

Khulna’s 52-year-old Rahima Begum had been missing for 29 days. Police were finally able to trace her down in Faridpur on Saturday night.

Rahima was reported missing by her family soon after her disappearance and police said she had been voluntarily hiding at an old tenant’s house for the last seven to 10 days. 

On August 27, at 10pm Rahima allegedly went missing while fetching water near her home in the Banikpara area.

Her children reportedly found her sandals, scarf and the pitcher she was carrying from the spot and reported it to the police. 

As many as six people were arrested over the incident.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdur Rahman told Dhaka Tribune that Rahima had been silent since the moment she was found.

It is suspected that she had left her home due to some family dispute over land, he noted.

Also Read - Missing Khulna woman found alive after 29 days in Faridpur

“Some 28 years ago, Kuddus Molla’s family used to live in Rahima Begum’s house on rent. Later, a few years ago, they moved to the village where Rahima had been hiding.”

She recently had some disagreement with her second husband over various family matters, and left her home, he added.

On August 17, she went to Kuddus Molla’s house and stayed there. She also told the family that she had been traveling to different cities. 

The officer also noted that Rahima had been changing her location constantly and hence it was difficult to track her down.

Besides, Rahima’s daughter, Mariyam Mannan’s claim that she found her mother’s body in Mymensingh had derailed the investigation as well, the officer said. 

“However, we were not fully sure of the claim, and hence continued to track her through mobile numbers she had contacted before she went missing,” he told Dhaka Tribune.

The officer also said that Rahima would soon be interrogated and sent to court. 

Meanwhile, Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) Deputy Commissioner (North) Molla Jahangir Hossain said when the police team found her, Rahima was seen as happy and cheerful.

“She was laughing and talking to Kuddus Molla’s family when we found her. But when she was being taken to Khulna, she refused to talk to the police,” he added. 

“We were ordered to find Rahima, and we successfully managed to do so. As she switched off her phone, the search operation took longer than usual," he noted.

He also said police will try to uncover the mystery of this incident soon.

Also Read - Missing Khulna woman found dead after a month

“We will keep Rahima in the victim support center of KMP for the time being. We will try to make her feel comfortable through services and counseling first. After that we will hand her over to PBI.” he added. 

In this regard, Rahima’s son Sadi said: "Since my mother was rescued alive, she herself will explain the incident.”

“If someone from my family is found involved in the incident, the administration will take action,” he added. 

On Thursday, Rahima was presumed dead by her daughter Maryam Mannan. 

"I have just found my mother's body," this is what Maryam Mannan, daughter of Rahima Begum, wrote in a Facebook post.

However, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), Khulna's Daulatpur police station and Mymensingh police could not confirm the matter.

Maryam told the investigation officer she identified her mother's body by scrutinizing a photograph of the clothes she was wearing.

She also told Dhaka Tribune that they used to live in a rented house as her mother had a land dispute with some neighbours in Moheshhwerpasha area of Daulatpur.

She had filed a case in this regard, Maryam said adding that as it was getting difficult for her to live in own house in Mohesshwerpasha, she rented a house in Banikpara.

Maryam said their family came under attack after lodging the case repeatedly.

The daughter said her mother received life threats and the goons also threatened to rape her younger daughter, Maryam’s sister. 

As a result, her mother filed another case with Daulatpur police station.

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