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Covid-19 fears: Denied burial, RMG worker's body dumped into water

  • Published at 04:14 pm May 26th, 2020

The deceased's father gave Tk5,000 to a local funeral van driver to bury his daughter whereever possible, but later learnt her body had been thrown into the Teesta River

Police recovered the body of a 21-year-old woman from Teesta River in Lalmonirhat's Aditmari upazila after her body was dumped in the river, fearing that she was infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19)

Her family claimed that the union parishad (UP) chairman in Burimari union of Lalmonirhat's Patgram upazila had refused to let them bury her.

The deceased, Mahmuda Begum Moushumi, was a ready-made garment (RMG) worker and died on her way home in Lalmonirhat on May 21, family sources say.

She had been suspected to be suffering from Covid-19. After her death, Rangpur’s Tajhat police recovered her dead body from the truck she was riding and also detained the driver and his assistant for questioning.

Later her body was handed over to her father, Goulam Mostafa, Tajhat police sources say.

However, after reported attempts and request, the chairman of Burimari Union Parishad, Shah Newaj Nishat, reportedly refused to let her family bury her in their village, and threatened Mostafa.

“The UP chairman threatened me to death and said he would burn down my home and the helpers if I tried to bury my daughter on the local graveyard or any place of the area,” said Mostafa.

“Upon finding no other way, I gave Tk5,000 to a local funeral van driver to bury my daughter where ever possible but I was later informed he had thrown the dead body into the river,” he added.

Aditmari police station OC Saiful Islam said: "On Sunday, we recovered the dead body in a sack from the Teesta River, and gave her a proper burial in Patgram Central Cemetry under Patgram municipality on Monday."

"We also collected her samples to test for the virus and she was buried maintaining proper protocol," added the OC.

“A complaint has been filed by the father of the deceased and we are investigating the UP chairman’s involvement in the matter. We will surely take action against the responsible people,” said Lalmonirhat Superintendent of Police Abida Sultana.

When contacted, Burimari UP Chairman Shah Newaj denied all allegations and said aid he did not provide such directions to the father, but alleged some locals might be behind the incident.