After 3 yrs of torture in abandoned theatre, woman rescued

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Publication Date: 9 November, 2017 00:00 00 AM 
Media: The Independent
Original Link: After 3 yrs of torture in abandoned theatre, woman rescued
E-paper Link: After 3 yrs of torture in abandoned theatre, woman rescued 
Aklima Begum, 30 was rescued from the abandoned theatre

The Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) on Tuesday rescued a 30-year-old woman, who was allegedly confined in a room of a cinema hall in Chittagong by her husband for three years. Her husband, who is the hall owner’s son, was arrested.

The woman was allegedly tortured so much that she is now physically disabled and her whole body bears numerous injury marks.

Her right hand has several fractures and she misses quite a few teeth. She cannot walk or speak clearly.She has been identified as Aklima Begum, 30, daughter of Nurun Nabi of Mirsari in Chittagong.

Aklima was rescued thanks to a weeklong joint crackdown on drug peddlers in the city, led by the DNC, the district administration, and the police.

Around 4 pm on Tuesday, acting on specific information, a DNC team, led by Ranjan Chandra Das, executive magistrate of the Chittagong district administration, and Shamim Ahmed, deputy director (metro) of the DNC Chittagong, conducted a drive at Purobi Cinema Hall on Ashraf Ali Road in Kotwali police station area. The hall has been lying abandoned for many years.

In a room on the second floor, they found some drugs. They found another locked room and broke into it. The room was pitch-dark. But they heard a faint mumble in a woman’s voice asking for help. That is how how Aklima was saved and her story came to light.

The DNC team detained Ishtiak Elahi Sanny, son of Fazle Elahi, owner of Purobi Cinema Hall, after Aklima alleged that Sanny was her husband. Sanny has denied the allegation of torture.

Aklima told The Independent that three years ago, she married Sanny after a love affair. But Sanny has another wife.

When she confronted him about that, he allegedly locked her up and started torturing her.

The beatings were so severe that he broke her right arm several times and she lost several of her teeth. Her face, hands and legs bear innumerable cut marks. She alleged that she was not even given proper food.

“Purobi Cinema Hall has been closed for a few years. We conducted the drive after being informed that it has become a safe haven for drug addicts. We found the woman from a dark room on the south-eastern corner of the cinema hall. She sought our help when we entered the room,” said Shamim Ahmed in the presence of Ranjan Chandra Das.

“Various parts of her body have numerous wounds. Her nails were ripped out and the right arm broken more than once. She cannot stand up straight and cannot talk clearly,” he noted.

“Even if she screamed, no one could have possibly heard her,” he added.

Aklima’s father, Nurun Nabi, said she has two sons named Rahi and Raj from her first marriage. About three years ago, she divorced her first husband and left with Sanny. Since then, she had kept no touch with her family.

Early yesterday, the DNC sent Aklima to the Victim Support Centre (VSC) at Double Mooring of the Chittagong Metropolitan Police. However, the VSC cannot support the woman as she is not accused in any case.

Shakila Sultana, in charge of VSC, said: “The whole body of the woman bears cut marks. I have never seen such terrible torture. She is now physically disabled. She is completely helpless.

Her family is unwilling to take her back because she left her first family with two sons. We cannot support her either, as she is not accused in any case.”

DNC officials said they are now trying to send the woman to a support centre of the Department of Social Service in Chittagong’s Fatickchhari upazila.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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