Domestic worker’s death sparks violent protests in capital

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:23, Aug 05,2017 | Updated: 13:50, Aug 05,2017

 
 

People at Banasree in Dhaka on Friday set fire to a car in protest at the death of a domestic help in the area. — New Age photo

Violent protests rocked the capital’s Banashree area after the death of a part-time domestic worker on Friday.
Police fired from their guns and lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse protesters who pelted stones at the law enforcers in return.
Police repeatedly called for reinforcements and over a hundred were deployed in the area to bring the situation under control.
Some of them were also guarding the building where the domestic worker died in hours of her joining work in the morning.
The deceased, identified as Laili, 25, hailed from Hajuyatuli village of Phulbaria upazila in Kurigram, used to live in a slum close to her workplace at a house in Banashree area.
Her employer Moinuddin claimed that Laili locked herself in a room in his residence around 8:30am and they found her hanging around 10:30am inside that room. Laili was announced dead as soon as he took her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 10:15am.
Locals got enraged after hearing the news of the Laili’s death.
Shahnaz, a neighbour of Laili, told reporters that Moinuddin owed five month’s salary to Laili.
Laili had been demanding her dues and Moinuddin was not comfortable with her demanding the money almost every day, she said.
‘On Friday morning, Moinuddin sent his house guard to bring Laili to work, and then killed her,’ she alleged.
The victim’s sister Nurunnahar who came to DMCH along with other relatives around 9:30pm told reporters that she and her sister had been working at the same house of Moinuddin for the past one year.
She said, ‘We were employed there with a promise of paying Tk 6,000 per month. We have been working from dawn to dusk and seven days a week, but the employer has not been paying us for the last five months.’
Nurunnahar said that their employer used to hurl abusive words and slapped them when they wanted their dues. ‘We used to take breakfast and lunch at the house but Moinuddin’s wife used to verbally abuse us if any work was delayed even for seconds after she ordered.’
‘My sister has left a two-and-a-half-year-old son Atiqul, and a five-year-old daughter Mariam. Her husband is now in an Indian jail where he went for work in a brick kiln,’ she said.
‘My sister’s son is crying for her mother since evening as the kid had known that his mother would return to their residence by that time,’ Nurunnahar began wailing.
Angry crowds attacked Moinuddin’s residence around 1:00pm, setting a private car ablaze and pelting stones at windowpanes.
The police told New Age at 10:00pm that chase and counter chase between the police and the protestors ended after the dusk fell.
‘The turn of events as described by the employer raises suspicion,’ said Jahangir Kabir, inspector (investigation) of Khilgaon police.
He said that they arrested Moinuddin and the guard of his house in this connection. 

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