Father of Maldivian model accuses Kashmiri friend of her murder

Father of Maldivian model accuses Kashmiri friend of her murder

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Dhaka, April 11 (IANS) The father of a Maldivian model who was found dead in her college in Rajshahi, Bangladesh, last month has accused her best friend, a student from India’s Jammu and Kashmir, of murder, a media report said.

Muhammad Atif, father of Raudha Atif, lodged a case with the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on Monday afternoon accusing her daughter’s classmate Sirat Parveen Mahmud, 21, who hails from Kashmir, Prothom Alo reported.

In his complaint, Muhammad Atif mentioned that the classmate broke open the door of Raudha and lowered the hanging body. Atif wrote in the complaint that Sirat might have strangled Raudha.

Raudha, an MBBS second year student of Islami Bank Medical College in Rajshsahi, was found dead in her college dormitory room on March 29.

The college authorities had informed Shah Makhdum police station that Raudha committed suicide by hanging herself.

Sirat was one of Raudha’s closest friends at the dorm. They lived in adjacent rooms. According to her earlier testimony, she was the last person to see Raudha alive, Dhaka Tribune reported.

Athif said: "I am certain my daughter was murdered. There were fingerprints around her neck. From the looks of these prints, Raudha was choked to death by a right-handed person.

"If she had committed suicide, then why was her body taken down before the police arrived? This is a murder," he is quoted as saying.

Advocate Kamrul Monir told reporters that the court has taken cognisance of the case and directed the Shah Makhdum Police to act on it.

The lawyer said that about a week before Raudha died, she had told her mother that Sirat had given her fruit juice spiked with sleeping medication.

According to college authorities, Sirat claimed to be the first person to discover Raudha’s body on March 29. She had claimed to have seen her hanging body through the window, after which she allegedly broke the door down and brought down the body.

But the door showed no signs of forced entry, and the fan was too high for a person to reach even if they got on a chair, the daily said quoting college authorities.

The most suspicious fact in the whole affair is the revelation that the CCTV camera outside Raudha’s room seemingly malfunctioned on the night of March 28. The camera was functioning properly throughout the day, choosing only that particular night to fail to work, the daily said.

Raudha and Sirat were both living in a separate building for international students on the campus.

The college authorities claimed to have advised Raudha’s family of the developments.

The autopsy was carried out at Rajshahi Islami Bank Medical College Hospital on March 31. The autopsy report said suicide as the cause of death. Raudha was buried on April 1 in Rajshahi by her family after they received the autopsy report.

Rajshahi Metropolitan Police spokesperson Iftekhar Alam had said the police also suspect the cause of death to be suicide, brought on by depression.

Last Thursday, two police officers arrived in Rajshahi from Maldives to look into the circumstances surrounding Raudha’s death, the daily reported.

Raudha, an international model, was on the cover of the October 2016 issue of Vogue India magazine. She was considered a rising star and was an MBBS student in her sophomore year at Rajshahi Islami Bank Medical College.