- Nadi's body was exhumed on Monday for an autopsy, 6 months after her death, 3 months after burial
- Section 174 (2) of CrPC, inquiry report, autopsy and DNA test are mandatory, but IO said only autopsy would be conducted as per court order
- Nadi died in Medina, Saudi Arabia on 14 August last year
- The recruitment agency reported she committed suicide, though her family thinks she was murdered
- Her body arrived in Bangladesh on 29 October and was buried the next day
- Nadi's mother claimed police buried the body in a hurry despite the request to delay the burial
- On 14 November, she filed a case against the recruitment agency (and other relevant parties)
The body of Nadi Akhter, 17, a worker in Saudi Arabia, was exhumed on Monday for an autopsy, six months after her death and three months after burial.
Nadi died in Medina, Saudi Arabia on 14 August last year. The recruitment agency later reported she had committed suicide, although her family thinks she was murdered.
Her body arrived in Bangladesh on 29 October and was buried the next day.
The body was exhumed from Khilgaon Graveyard in the capital in the presence of Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, assistant commissioner (Land) of Ramna, as a representative of Dhaka District Administration. The body was then sent to Dhaka Medical College Morgue under the supervision of Kalabagan Police Station.
The investigating officer in the case, Kalabagan Police Station Sub-Inspector Zakir Hossain, told The Business Standard (TBS) the body would be autopsied only as per court order.
The Children's Charity Bangladesh Foundation is assisting in the case. Barrister Abdul Halim, chairman of the Foundation, while talking to TBS, said it would not be possible to correctly identify the cause of death with an autopsy being performed six months after death.
He said, according to section 174 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, inquiry report, autopsy and DNA test are mandatory, but the investigation officer said only autopsy would be conducted.
Nadi Akhter's mother Beauty Begum demanded both an autopsy and a DNA test, he said.
Sohail Mahmud, head of the forensic medicine department at Dhaka Medical College, told TBS, "Although the body was brought to the morgue, the police have not yet provided the necessary documents. We asked for a translated copy of the post-mortem report done in Saudi Arabia. We will do a post-mortem after receiving all the documents."
He added, "If the police want to do a DNA test, we will do so."
Nadi's mother claimed the police buried the body in a hurry despite the family's request to delay the burial.
On 14 November, she filed a case against the recruitment agency (and other relevant parties) with the Kalabagan Police Station under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act.
The accused in the case are several officials from Dhaka Export RL, including its Managing Director A Rahman Lalon, Md Abdul Malek, Md Masum and a few others.
Beauty Begum alleged that Nadi had been subject to forced labour and the accused had conspired to kill her.
Following the family's plea, the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court gave an order to exhume Nadi's body on 3 December for the purpose of conducting an autopsy.
EXHUMING THE BODY 1.5 MONTHS AFTER THE ORDER RAISES QUESTIONS
Legal expert Barrister Abdul Halim told TBS the criminal procedure clearly states that in such cases, the entire responsibility of exhuming the body lies with the relevant court. The court did not do so and simply continued passing the buck. As a result, it took about 1.5 months to exhume the body after the order was passed. The implementation of such orders is being delayed due to inadequate training of judges.
Also, according to the law, a corpse from overseas is to be buried only after an autopsy and post-mortem are performed. However, no autopsy was done after the body reached Bangladesh.