Maldivian model committed suicide, conclude Bangladesh police

Maldivian model committed suicide, conclude Bangladesh police
October 18 15:25 2017

Bangladeshi police have concluded that Raudha Athif, a 21-year-old Maldivian medical student who was found hanged in her college dorm room, committed suicide after a breakup with her boyfriend.

In a report submitted Tuesday to the Rajshahi metropolitan court, the criminal investigation department dismissed allegations of murder from her father, Dr Mohamed Athif, Bangladesh’s The Daily Star reported.

“Assisted by senior CID officials, I examined all the issues raised by Raudha’s father and found that those were raised due to factual mistakes,” Asmaul Haque, the investigating officer, was quoted as saying.

A forensic report of Raudha’s laptop and mobile phone, prepared by the CID’s Forensic Lab in Dhaka, found that she was frustrated over the breakup with her Maldivian boyfriend, who lives in the UK.

But Athif petitioned the court not to accept the CID’s final report and the magistrate has decided to hold hearings on November 28.

On Sunday, Australian TV show 60 Minutes aired a documentary featuring Athif that suggested foul play was involved in Raudha’s death at the Islami Bank College in Rajshahi.

Raudha became a social media sensation with a viral photograph known as the ‘Maldivian girl with aqua blue eyes.’ She pursued modelling as a hobby and was featured on the October 2016 cover of Vogue India. Her death on March 29 gripped the nation with daily media updates and rumours, debate and conspiracy theories on social media.

Chief Superintendent Mohamed Riyaz from the Maldives Police Service told the press after returning from Bangladesh in April that there were “no suspicious circumstances” surrounding her death, prompting Athif to accuse the police of spreading “false news”.

In early April, Athif filed a case at the Rajshahi metropolitan court naming Raudha’s classmate Seerat Parvin Mohamed as the prime suspect. After examining evidence, the court ordered the police to launch a homicide investigation.

According to The Daily Star, Inspector Rashidul Hasan of the Detective Branch of Rajshahi and Inspector Anwar Ali also concluded Raudha died by suicide before the case was later transferred to the CID.

The CID exhumed her body on April 24 for a second autopsy but was unable to determine the cause of death.

The family previously rejected an autopsy report conducted by three doctors at the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.

Raudha’s brother Rayyan Athif told British tabloid The Sun at the time that he believes his sister’s death was staged as a suicide.

“There have been a series of murders in Bangladesh which have been staged to look like suicides and Islamic extremists have been suspected to be behind these atrocities,” he said.