Grief and anger have gripped the family of Shahinoor Akter Tania, a nurse of Ibne Sina Hospital’s Kallyanpur branch who was raped and murdered allegedly on a bus on Monday night.
The incident occurred when Tania was returning her home in Kishoreganj’s Katiadi upazila.
Having lost the youngest of his six children just a few months after his wife’s death to cancer, Gias Uddin, 65, was struggling to keep up with his grief.
“I struggled hard to bear the expenses of my children’s education. I arranged money by cultivating crops on my 45 decimals of farm lands and running a grocery store,” he said.
Tania passed her Dakhil and Alim exams from local madrasas in 2011 and 2013, respectively. She was enrolled in IbneSina Hospital’s Kallyanpur branch for a diploma in nursing in 2014, after which she started her job in the hospital in 2017.
Speaking to this correspondent over phone, Tania’s elder brother Kafil Uddin Sumon, also a nurse at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said their parents had to spend around Tk 15 lakhs for his and Tania’s nursing education at private institutions.
“Moreover, our family had to spend huge amount of money to bear the treatment cost of our mother, who was a cancer patient and died last December.
“After joining our jobs, we [me and Tania] were trying to improve the financial status of our family,” said Sumon.
A sobbing Sumon said he tried to persuade Tania several times to get married. “But she used to say that she would build a house for our father first and then think of marriage.”
Tania’s uncle Nasir Uddin said, “Her death is an irreparable loss for the family, which has faced a serious blow and it would be very tough to overcome the situation.”
Family and police sources said Tania boarded a SwarnalataParibahan bus from the capital’s Mohakhali to go to her home in Lohajury in Katiadi around 3:00pm on Monday.
She had called Sujan upon reaching Katiadi, which is a 10-minute rick-shaw ride away from her home saying she would reach Pirijpur shortly.
After passengers were dropped at Ujanchar in the upazila, Tania was the only one left in the bus, said Shafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge (investiga-tion) of Katiadi Police Station, quoting family members.
After waiting for over an hour and finding Tania’s phone switched off, the family rushed to Pirijpur bus station but did not find her there.
Around 11:00pm, they learned that Tania had died after being contacted by the KatiadiUpazila Health Complex.
After they say her body, her family alleged she was killed after being raped.
The bus driver and helper, who were both arrested, during primary inter-rogation, claimed that the girl jumped off the running bus through a win-dow and died. But they could not explain why she would do that, police said.
The autopsy conducted on Tania a day later found evidences of gang rape and murder.
The incident sparked huge outrage across the county as different socio-cultural organisations and professional bodies formed human chains at different areas, including in Dhaka and Kishoreganj, demanding exem-plary punishment of the criminals.
Bangladesh MohilaPrishad and Manobadhikar Forum formed a human chain at Kishoreganj town’s Kalibari area. They also submitted memoran-dums in this regard to the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Kishoreganj.