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Dhaka Tribune

Not an abduction, says Moriom

Rahima’s second husband may hold the key to unravelling the mystery of her disappearance, according to PBI

Update : 29 Sep 2022, 08:37 AM

Hours after the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) cast doubts over Rahima Begum’s abduction allegations, her daughter Moriom endorsed the observations of law enforcement officials on Wednesday.

During a press briefing, PBI Superintendent of Police (SP) Syed Mushfiqur Rahman said some of Rahima’s statements had proven to be contradictory, and legal action would be taken if her abduction allegations were confirmed to be false.

When contacted over the matter, Moriom told Dhaka Tribune her mother may not have been abducted as she had left the house after having a dispute with the family.

 “She was angry with us when she left the house. She has complaints against us,” Moriom said.

She added that none of her family members had connected Rahima’s disappearance with the argument while she was missing. 

Rahima’s second husband may hold key to unravelling mystery

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday, PBI SP Mushfiqur said Bellal Ghatak alias Bellal Hawlader, Rahima’s second husband, may hold the key to the unravelling of the mystery over her alleged abduction.

“We only suspect that Bellal Hawlader may be involved. We expect that we will be able to shed light on what really happened if we can question him,” he said, adding that a remand prayer was yet to be heard by a court.

“We will submit the report to the court once the investigation is complete. The court will decide what to do about Rahima and her daughters Moriom Mannan and Aduri Begum.”

‘Not an abduction, but also not deception’

Five people are currently behind bars in the abduction case filed by Aduri.

Labelling Moriom as the mastermind of an “abduction drama”, family members of the five people on Tuesday demanded a proper investigation and punishment of those who had made the false allegations that led to the arrests.

Moriom said yesterday: “We are requesting the administration to investigate it. If they find us involved, we should also face action.” 

She added that the family would not leave her mother despite facing continuous harassment on social media.

“After we found her, I also think it may not have been an abduction. But the PBI is investigating the case, and they can say what it was. I will appear before the media soon and respond to all questions,” she said.

“My mother went missing and we looked for her. This is not a crime. I think she was not abducted, but it is incorrect to say that she went missing as part of some elaborate deception,” Moriam added.

She said that the family filed the general diary over her mother’s abduction without naming anyone, but provided some names after the police wanted to know if the family had enmity with anyone.

“My mother never thought we could file a case, which is why we didn’t mention any name as accused. The names were given when police asked [us] whether we suspected anyone or had enmity with anyone,” she said.

“I’m attaching utmost importance to [my mother’s] well-being right now.”

The investigation, so far

The investigation officer on September 27 visited the house of Kuddus Molla, a resident of Boalmari Union in Faridpur, where Rahima was located. The officer received some important information from there, and will now visit Islampur in Bandarban as Rahima also visited there when she went missing.

According to a PBI spokesperson, Rahima in her statement alleged that she had been abducted from Khulna on August 27 night and found herself in the Chittagong Hill Tracts when she regained consciousness. While there, she worked at the hotel of one Moni Begum in Bandarban.

Rahima alleged that the hotel owner offered her a job at a local camp, but that required a birth certificate or NID card. This is why she went to Boalmari in Faridpur, to the house of Kuddus Molla, a person that she knew as a former tenant.

On September 16, she went to the office of Syedpur Union Parishad chairman Abdul Haque, claimed Syedpur was her place of birth and sought identity documents such as a birth certificate or NID. She also claimed that she lived in Bagerhat for work-related purposes.

However, Rahima was not given the documents as officials found her behaviour suspicious.

On September 22, Moriom claimed she had found her mother’s body in Mymensingh, creating mass outrage on Facebook.

Two days later, Rahima was recovered from Boalmari and was handed over to court the following day. Rahima, who told the court that she had been abducted, was handed over to the custody of her daughter Aduri Begum the same day.

On September 25, Moriom left Khulna for Dhaka with her mother for the latter’s treatment.

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