The 21-year-old victim was a 12th grader at a college in Dhaka, according to the family
Police have recovered the body of a woman from a flat in Dhaka’s Gulshan area. They have termed the death a suicide.
The deceased, Mosarat Jahan Munia, 21, of Comilla, was a second-year student and HSC exam candidate at Mirpur Cantonment Public School and College.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Gulshan Division Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sudip Kumar Chakraborty confirmed the matter.
Her sister, Nusrat Jahan, filed a case with Gulshan police station, accusing Bashundhara Group Managing Director (MD) Sayem Sobhan Anvir, who had rented the flat for her, of abetting the suicide.
Nusrat discovered her hanging body at the apartment and informed police. Later, police recovered her body from a building on Road No 120 in Gulshan 2 on Monday evening.
Quoting her sister, police said that Munia had committed suicide in that flat, where she started living alone in March.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka court on Monday imposed a travel ban on Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, barring him from leaving the country.
Sayem is the son of Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, chairman of one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Bangladesh.
Munia’s father was a freedom fighter, Shafiqur Rahman, and the family hails from Comilla Sadar.
Nusrat filed the case under Section 306 of the Penal Code in the early hours of Tuesday, according to the case statement.
Section 306 stipulates: "If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine."
Gulshan police OC Md Abul Hasan is investigating the case.
The case statement
According to the case statement, Bashundhara MD Sayem and Munia had known each other since the last two years.
They went out for dates at different restaurants and started talking over the phone, developing a relationship.
In 2019, Sayem rented an apartment for Munia, presenting their relationship as that of husband and wife. A photo of them as a couple was framed in their apartment.
When news of Sayem’s extramarital affair came to light before his family, his mother summoned Munia through another lady named Piasa, threatened Munia and asked her to leave Dhaka.
Under such circumstances, assuring her that he would marry her, Sayem sent Munia back to Comilla.
Sayem convinced Munia to return to Dhaka and she moved in at the Gulshan flat on March 1. “Sayem forcibly rented the flat using my husband’s and my National ID cards,” the plaintiff, Nusrat, said.
According to the case statement, Munia had got into an argument again with Sayem after photos of an iftar party that she attended with the landlord's family were shared on social media by the landlord’s wife on April 23.
Sayem expressed fears that Piasa, a Facebook friend of the landlord’s wife, would notify his mother about the recent development, as per the case statement.
“The accused told my sister to go back to Comilla and he would leave for Dubai on April 27, fearing that his mother would find out about his relationship again and kill my sister,” Nusrat said.
According to the case statement, it was mentioned that Munia's life was under threat and she might get murdered if Sayem's parents discovered their relationship.
The plaintiff Nusrat, in a case statement, said that her sister had told her that the accused would marry her and that they would live abroad, especially since if they remained in Bangladesh, Sayem’s parents would kill Munia, even if they would do nothing about their son.
A leaked audio record reportedly between Sayem and Munia, which was not independently verified by Dhaka Tribune, reveals a male voice accusing a female person of stealing money worth Tk50 lakhs. The female was heard crying and repeatedly denying that claim while the male voice repeatedly curses and uses expletives.
What do police say?
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Gulshan Division, Sudip Kumar Chakraborty, said: "Munia informed her elder sister on Sunday that she was in trouble. Hearing this, Nusrat came to Dhaka from Comilla on Monday and rushed to her flat in the evening.
"As Munia was unreachable over the phone for a while and she was not opening the door, Nusrat had the lock broken and then found her sister hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom."
She later informed the building owner and then the police were called in, said DC Sudip.
Munia’s body was sent to the Dhaka Medical College morgue for an autopsy, he said.
He added that police had collected all electronic gadgets Munia used from the flat and CCTV camera footage of the apartment building. “We are investigating the incident and analysing the evidence.”
Sudip said Munia was an unemployed student, but the flat, which the businessman used to visit, was rented at Tk1 lakh alongside Tk11,000 service charge per month.
Travel ban against Sayem
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Shahidul Islam issued the order barring Sayem from leaving the country, in connection with the case, on Tuesday.
Earlier, Abul Hassan, officer-in-charge of Gulshan police station and the investigation officer (IO) of the case, filed a petition seeking the travel ban.
Md Alamgir Hossain, a general recording officer (GRO) at the CMM court, confirmed the development.
In the petition, the IO said there was a chance that Sayem might leave the country to avoid arrest.
A message was conveyed to the immigration police to take similar steps as well, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Gulshan Division Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sudip Kumar Chakraborty.
According to immigration police, Sayem Sobhan Anvir holds passports of two countries - Slovakia and Bangladesh.
Neither Sayem nor anyone else from the Bashundhara Group were available for comments.
Police placed Munia's death between 11am and 4:15pm on Monday. They said that necessary steps would be taken to bring the accused into custody and have him face legal action after investigation.
Our correspondents Fahim Reza Shovon and Sanaul Islam Tipu contributed to this report