Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) rescued a young girl, who was thought to have been killed after rape in the capital in 2016, from Madaripur district on Tuesday.
A syndicate allegedly led by Rina Begum alias Lota held the girl, 21, hostage in a house of the city and forced her to do sex work over the last five years, and finally dropped her in the district.
Mizanur Rahman, superintendent of police (SP) of PBI Dhaka Metro South unit, told this to reporters at a press briefing at his office at Banasree on that day (Wednesday).
He said the girl at the age of 16 years came to her maternal aunt Basona Begum, who works as a domestic help, in Vatara in 2016 for a job to help her poor parents and brothers and sisters financially. Basona sent her to Lota to give her a job as a domestic worker, he added.
According to the officer, Lota handed over her to Sohag, 35, on April 22, 2016. Sohag took her to a residence and forcibly sexed with her for two nights. In the meantime, the aunt of the victim went to Lota and asked where her niece was. Lota told her that her niece went away on the day she was given to her (Lota).
After that, Sohag and Lota took her to a shop at Nurerchala and handed her over to Baser. Later, Baser took her to a residence and carried out tortures on her. In the house, Baser and others forced the victim to sex with different people for the last five years.
However, on April 24 in that year, police found the decomposed body of girl in Vatara and the body was buried as an unclaimed one. Hearing the news, Basona went to Vatara Police Station and saw photos and dresses of the dead, and claimed the body as her niece.
The court later on ordered the PBI to look into the matter. The PBI through its long investigation came to know that the victim was staying in the district and recovered her, said Mizanur Rahman. After her recovery, they knew details from her and the arrested persons, he said.
“The criminals dropped in Madaripur. It seemed the criminals could not earn by her as she grew fatty and somewhat mentally imbalanced for living in a house on captive condition,” he said.
On the Lota, he said, “Lota was once a sex worker. When she grew old, she formed a syndicate by which she engaged young girls in sex work. She supplied the girls to her clients for sex. Lota is now a well established. She built a multi-storey building at Nurerchala with the money she earned through immoral acts,” he said.
On Basona Begum, the police officer said that she was also involved in the crimes as she finally came to know the fact and took money from the criminals to hush up the matter. A case was underway, in which the arrested accused and Basona would be indicted, he said.
Lota denied allegations brought against her and said that the girl went away with her lover. In response to a question if she was involved in the sex trade, she denied. But her daughter-in-law Sathi Akhter admitted, saying, “My mother-in-law is involved in sex trade. Police and local people are aware about this very well.”