Four girls attempt suicide at govt-run rehab centre

Map of Sylhet district
Prothom Alo illustration

Four young women aged 16-22 on Thursday allegedly tried to commit suicide in the face of torture and abuse at Sylhet Training and Rehabilitation Centre run by the Department of Social Services, reports news agency UNB.

Koli Begum, 21, Popy Aktar, 22, Suhada Aktar Tonny, 16, and Sultana Aktar Liza, 22, tried to commit suicide by slitting their wrists at the rehabilitation centre in Khadimnagar area at around 2:00pm.

The authorities took them to Osmani Medical College and Hospital, Sylhet immediately after rescuing them in injured condition. All four of them are undergoing treatment at the hospital currently.

The four girls said they could no longer bear the torture they have been facing from trainer and storekeeper Delwar Hossain and office assistant Anwara Begum.

Koli said they were being physically and mentally tortured by those two staff at the centre, with Anwara even beating them up with shoes.

Delwar Hossain scolded and verbally abused them once again over some food issue on Thursday morning. “Unable to tolerate that anymore, we decided to attempt suicide,” Koli said.

They also allegedthat a few days ago another girl had actually committed suicide. Delwar had scolded them over the food arrangements for the dead girl’s funeral that would held on Friday.

Refuting the claims, Delwar said those trainees had cut their wrists on several occasions before too. “It has become a habit for them,” he told UNB.

“Five days back I was appointed in-charge of the store before Anwara Begum had the responsibility. I told the trainees that there is no extra budget for the funeral ceremony and they have to do with what’s there in the store,” he said on the incident on Thursday morning.

Assistant manager of the center Lutfor Rahman and accused staff Anwara couldn’t be contacted.

Earlier, on 22 July, CCTV video footage showed an ayah killing a two-month-and-11-day-old infant at an orphanage named ‘Chhotomoni Nibas’, a facility run by social services dept., in Bagbari of Sylhet.