Vol. 5 Num 962 Tue. February 13, 2007  
Front Page

Double blow for a father in penury

Abul Sharif, a day labourer, probably had no idea that poverty would force him to do the unthinkable, until he had to hand over his 10-year old daughter's body to a charity organisation for burial declaring it 'unclaimed'.

He did not have the money to take his daughter's body to their village home in Bhola for a burial.

The curse of poverty felt even heavier to Sharif as his daughter Munni had died of torture in the hands of her employers for whom she had to work in that early age due to her family's financial hardship.

Failing to arrange even simple meals for his seven-member family Sharif sent Munni to work as a domestic help in a family, who tortured her to death and dumped the body at the western corner of Monipur Boys' High School ground stuffing it in a duffle bag.

Police had recovered Munni's body on Thursday and since then the body was kept in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) morgue. Sharif came all the way from Shyampur village in Bhola yesterday after getting information from police and burst into tears finding the body of his daughter.

However, he did not dare to take his beloved daughter's body with him to their village as it would cost around Tk 11,000. Hearing the amount required, he only lamented about Munni's bad luck, shed tears and requested the morgue authorities to hand over the body to Anjuman-e-Mofidul Islam.

Munni's mother did not even know anything about the fate of her daughter when her husband was leaving Munni for burial in a graveyard in the capital, without her mother getting even one last chance to look at the daughter's face.

Munni's hands and legs were tied with ropes and there was a deep wound in the head, which was bandaged, police said.

"Her skin was wrinkled from pouring hot water on her and there were several large burns and stab wounds on her chest, abdomen and thighs. It seems she was tortured with a hot knife," a morgue source said.

Sharif last met Munni four months ago and took away her last few months' wages with him. "I was planning to come back to Dhaka to see my daughter, but could not manage the required money. Finally I managed a visit, but only to find my daughter dead," Sharif told journalists at the DMC morgue.

A year and a half ago Munni was employed by the family of Muminul Huq Pintu and Nasrin Sultana Lucky of House No 2 on Line 16 at Block B of Mirpur 10 in the capital for a wage of Tk 500 a month.

Their neighbours said they used to hear the girl screaming almost everyday but they did not dare say anything. The employer couple left the house on Wednesday night without informing the landlord, they said.

Sub-inspector of Mirpur Police Station Abdul Khaleq told The Daily Star that they searched the house of Muminul's in-laws, but they too are absconding.

Muminul is also absent from the office of a courier service in Motijheel, where he works.