Members of accused families demand arrest of Moriom, her family members

Members of accused families came up with this demand at a press conference at Humayun Kabir Auditorium at the Khulna press club on Tuesday afternoon.
Prothom Alo

Family members of those, who are made accused and arrested in an abduction case, have demanded the arrest of Moriom and her family members.

They came up with this demand at a press conference at Humayun Kabir Auditorium at the Khulna press club on Tuesday afternoon.

They also alleged Rahima Begum went into hiding premeditatedly to implicate the opponents over a land dispute.

Rahima Begum's family members including Moriom Mannan were aware of her going into hiding, claimed the family members of the arrestees in the case filed over the reported disappearance of Rahima Begum.

Terming the whole incident a drama, they demanded the release of arrestees.

Maliha Mohiuddin, student of class IX and the daughter of an arrestee, Md Mohiuddin, read the written statement at the press conference.

Members of the families of all accused -- Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) assistant engineer Golam Kibria, Rafiqul Islam alias Polash, Nurul Alam alias Juwel and Helal Sharif -- were present.   

They all are the residents of Daulatpur Thanabari area in Khulna city.

It was claimed in the press conference that Rahima Begum and her offspring unleashed a reign of terror in the village.

The abduction case was lodged to implicate the neighbours. They are harassing neighbours, implicating them in false cases.

A few years ago, Rahima filed a case over an attempted rape against a child aged 8 to 9.

The statement read Mannan, the father of Moriom, has three wives. The accused Helal Sharif and Golam Kibria bought a land from Mizanur Rahman, a son from Mannan’s first marriage. But Rahima Begum and her family didn’t allow them to take the land under their possession. 

Instead, they filed a defamation case against five including Helal Sharif. All accused in the case received anticipatory bail. Later, they all were implicated in the abduction case after Rahima went into hiding, according to the written statement.            

Members of the accused families said they want the immediate release of their family members arrested in the case which they termed fabricated. As they were subjected to harassment and stigma in the society, they would take legal action against Rahima Begum.  

On 27 August, Rahima reportedly went missing after she had left her home in the Banikpara area of Doulatpur at 10:00pm to fetch water.

Her daughters found her sandals, scarf and water pot. A newer pair of sandals though, had gone missing and that fueled speculation that she had left home on her own.

The family first filed a complaint with the police, based on which the law enforcement lodged a first information report (FIR) against some people over Rahima's disappearance.

On 13 September, after Rahima remained missing for 17 days and police failed to find her, her younger daughter Aduri Akter appealed to a Khulna court to transfer the case to the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), according to Moriom.

Family members, however, claimed Rahima often received death threats from some of her neighbours whom she had sued in 2019 over a land dispute.