A woman who suffered serious chemical burns, following an alleged attack by her husband, succumbed to her injuries thursday after fighting for life for 10 days at a city hospital.
Suraiya Akhter, 25, of Raipura upazila in Narsingdi, died while on life support at the burns unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), sources said.
Police and family members of the victim said Suraiya’s estranged husband, Ramiz Uddin, reportedly poured liquid chemical all over her body after drugging her with a spiked soft drink on August 5.
Suraiya, daughter of Adam Ali and Rokeya Begum, was married off to Ramiz, of Manikganj, in 2001. But after only two years of marriage, Ramiz, who ran a small scrap gold business in Tongi, abandoned her. The couple has a young son.
“We found Ramiz had another wife and children when we searched for him after he stopped supporting my daughter two years into the marriage,” Rokeya said. Suraiya had planned to divorce him but changed her mind thinking of her child, she added.
Instead, she took out a bank loan, and with the help of a relative, went to Dubai for work. She returned six months ago, and built a one-storey house at Raipura to live with her son.
“Ramiz heard the news and reappeared. He tried to rebuild a relationship with my daughter to grab the money she earned in Dubai, but Suraiya kept avoiding him. He then started to threaten her, saying he would douse her with acid if she refused to give him a portion of her savings,” Rokeya said.
“On August 4, Ramiz went to Suraiya’s house, but she would not let him in. At on stage, he got some cold drinks and asked their son to share with his mother,” she said.
“Suraiya did not realise that Ramiz had brought the drinks. She drank some, and fell asleep. The cold drink was mixed with sedatives,”
Rokeya claimed. “Ramiz then entered the house and poured some chemicals on my daughter when she was sleeping.”
Ramiz fled the house, locking the door from the outside. Hearing Suraiya’s screams, neighbours took her to a local hospital. She was later shifted to the DMCH.
Doctors at the burns unit said Suraiya sustained chemical burns over almost 85% of her body.
Raipura police filed a case. “We heard that Ramiz contacted Suraiya’s mother after the incident,” the investigating officer of the case, Sub-inspector Rupan Kumar Sarkar, said.