Marufa Akhtar continued pursuing education after marriage and her illiterate in-laws did not like it.
As she was taking Higher Secondary Certificate exams from Nalchity Degree College in Jhalakathi, her in-laws’ family in the absence of her husband, who works in the Middle East, became more harsh on her.
On Tuesday afternoon, Marufa’s mother Lucky Akhtar alleged, her daughter’s mother-in-law, brothers-in-law and sister-in-law tortured her until her death. Later they left the body at Jhalakathi Sadar Hospital.
“There was a spot round the neck of the body,” said Golam Forhad, a physician of the hospital, who performed the autopsy.
According to the police inquest report the body bore marks of injuries, said Jhalakathi police.
“It is a harsh example of consequences of child marriage,” said Akkas Shikder, president of the district unit of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
Marufa’s father late Manik Howlader, of Parmhar village of Nalchity, married her off to Sumon Howlader, 42, son of Sultan Howlader of Baharampur village of Nalchity, when she was studying in class eight.
“Marufa and I opposed the marriage but her father didn’t listen to us. Now the marriage took her life,” the grieving mother said.
The 19-year-old girl had strong willpower, which was why she could continue her studies after marriage.
Marufa scored GPA 4.50 in Secondary School Certificate exams and got admission to Nalchity Degree College in business studies in 2015.
Her education was stopped several times in the last four years by the in-laws’ family, but Marufa was determined to continue her education, said Ruma Akhtar, a cousin of the victim.
And she had the support of her husband, who works in the Middle East, to her endeavour, she added.
Marufa was a regular student who was taking HSC exams this year, said Shamsul Alam Bahar, principal of the college.
“Being illiterate, they [in-laws] all wanted to stop my daughter’s education,” Lucky said.
They suspected that if Marufa continued to go to college, she would get chances to mix with boys, she said, adding that her daughter had not been allowed to talk to her on the phone for the last three months.
“My daughter had been tortured continuously, which I came to know after her death.
“I urge all parents not to marry their daughters’ early,” Lucky said.
The reporter could not reach the in-laws as their contact number was found switched off.