In search for a living, the orphan girl came to the capital when she was just eight. In a tragic turn of events, she went missing on 3 October, abused and ended up at a crisis centre. At the age of 13, she now appears before the authorities who would decide where she would live and get support to recover from the trauma she went through.
Police on 5 October rescued the girl from Netrokona where she was taken by the daughter of the landlady she used to work for. On Saturday, she and the landlady's schooling daughter were at the One Stop Crisis Center (OCC) of Dhaka Medical College Hospital where she went through medical examinations to confirm whether she was actually raped.
In the afternoon, police took the girl to a Dhaka court for her statement. In a petition before the court, Mirpur police said, "Since the 13-year-old girl has no guardian, she should be sent to a safe house or juvenile correctional facility instead of to that house where she had been working."
Police said the housemaid told the metropolitan magistrate about the tragic turn of events in her life. Citing the statement, the police said that hailing from an ethnic community, the housemaid came to Dhaka five years ago and started working at a home in Mirpur Janata Housing residential area when she was just an eight-old-year child.
There, she developed a good relationship with the landlady's school-going daughter who is of her age. The two girls went missing on 3 October, said Mirpur police Sub-Inspector Saddam Hussein, the investigation officer of the case.
Subsequently, the schoolgirl's family members filed a general diary with Mirpur Police Station. The police later tracked down the girls in Netrokona in the company of two youths named Sagar and Ahmed Rabbi.
"Rabbi was a former acquaintance of the two teenagers. He lured the two to Netrakona, where Rabbi's friend Sagar raped the housemaid," Mirpur police Sub-Inspector Saddam Hussein told The Business Standard.
Meanwhile, the schoolgirl's family filed an abduction and rape case with Mirpur Police Station.
Despite the plea of the police for sending the domestic help to a safe house, the metropolitan magistrate asked the law enforcers to hand her over to the landlady.
The landlady's daughter in her statement claimed that she left home with Rabbi on her own and took the housemaid with her.
The Business Standard phoned the landlady for a comment, but no response other than, "She does not want to talk now" was forthcoming.