Rahima Begum, who was rescued alive on Saturday, 29 days after she went missing, claimed to the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) that she was abducted while fetching water.
She said four people grabbed her and pressed a handkerchief on her face -- an action that rendered her unconscious. She has no idea what happened after that.
PBI Khulna unit police superintendent (SP) Syed Mushfiqur Rahman confirmed the development to Prothom Alo.
The SP said during interrogation, she claimed she was abducted. She said she was abducted by four people. But she could not clarify who they were and where she was taken.
At a stage, they took signatures from her on a blank paper. Then they released her at a secluded place that she is unaware about. Following this, she stayed at a house owned by a woman named Moni. However, she couldn't confirm the location of the house. The woman managed Tk 1000 for her. Later, she came to Maksudpur, he added.
Syed Mushfiqur Rahman said Rahima Begum claimed she got clothes to wear from the houses where he resided. She went to Boalmari from Maksudpur. Then on 17 September, she took shelter at the house of Abbus Kuddus Molla who used to live in her home as a tenant some 28 years ago while he would work at Sonali Jute Mill at Daulatpur in Khulna.
She said she was afraid of returning to Khulna. She thought she would contact her daughters after reaching Kuddus Molla's house. Then, she will return to the family.
According to the SP, a local boy informed her whereabouts to a public representative who later conveyed the information to the councilor of Daulatpur. The counselor later informed Daulatpur police of the matter. Then Daulatpur police came to the area on Saturday and rescued her.
Mushfiqur said she has been sent to the court where she will give a confessional statement. Then the action will be taken as per the court's decision.
On 27 August, Rahima 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 fuelled 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), Moriom said.
Family members said Rahima often received death threats from some of her neighbours whom she had sued in 2019 over a land dispute.