Bashundhara MD Sayem Sobhan faces travel ban in a case that accuses him of abetting suicide

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A Dhaka court has ordered a ban on the overseas travel of Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir in a case that accuses him of abetting the suicide of a woman.Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Shahidul Islam issued the order, responding to a petition filed by the police on Tuesday, said Zafar Hossain, deputy commissioner (prosecution) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Police found the body of Mosarat Jahan Muniya, a college student, hanging from a ceiling fan in the flat at Road No. 120 of Gulshan 2 on Monday evening.

“The woman used to live alone in the flat and study in Dhaka, while her family lived in Cumilla,” said Nazmul Hasan Firoz, an additional deputy commissioner of DMP.

Muniya was believed to have a relationship with the businessman. “We discovered that the man used to visit her flat,” a police officer said.

Police have confiscated CCTV footage from the scene and the digital devices used by Muniya.

Sayem Sobhan was not immediately available for comment.

In the case, Muniya’s elder sister Nusrat Jahan accused Sayem Sobhan of instigating her to commit suicide.
Nusrat said in the case dossier that 21-year-old Muniya was a student at Mirpur Cantonment Public School and College and was preparing to take her HSC exams this year.

Muniya and 42-year-old Sayem Sobhan met two years ago. They began hanging out at restaurants and would spend a lot of time speaking to each other on the phone. They eventually became romantically involved.

They rented a flat in Banani posing as husband and wife in 2019, Nusrat said.

When Sayem Sobhan’s mother came to know about his relationship with Muniya, she threatened her. Muniya then returned home in Cumilla following Sayem Sobhan’s assurance of marrying her later, the sister added in the case.

Sayem Sobhan used Nusrat and her husband’s papers to rent the Gulshan flat and enticed Muniya to come to Dhaka, according to the case dossier.

Nusrat said that she heard from her sister that the two would settle abroad once they were married. She said this was because if they stayed in Bangladesh, Sobhan’s parents would try and kill Muniya.

Then, on Apr 23, Muniya called her sister again, saying that Sayem Sobhan had scolded her because she had Iftar with the family of the flat owner and had taken pictures with them, which were posted to Facebook by the owner’s wife.
A friend of the owner’s wife identified them from the photos and was threatening to tell Sayem Sobhan’s mother about the continuation of their relationship.

Sayem told Muniya he was leaving for Dubai and she should go back to Cumilla because if his mother did hear about the situation, she would kill Muniya.

Nusrat continued that two days later, on Apr 25, Muniya called her again. She was crying, saying that Sayem Sobhan was just having his way with her and would not marry her. Muniya quoted Sayem Sobhan as saying that she was now his enemy and that he would not let her go.

Muniya also told Nusrat that Sayem Sobhan had tricked her and that “disaster can strike at any moment”. Muniya urged her family to come to Dhaka as soon as possible.

According to Nusrat, she and her family arrived in Dhaka from Cumilla around 2pm. She had tried calling Muniya on the way, but she did not answer the phone. She did not answer the door or intercom when the family arrived in the flat bloc.

Eventually, the flat owner allowed a locksmith to open the door. When they entered the flat, they found Muniya hanging from the ceiling fan in the bedroom, with a scarf tied around her neck.

Then the police came and lowered the body. They collected evidence such as photographs of the victim and the suspect together, her diary as proof of their relationship and two mobile phones.

Nusrat claimed in the case that Muniya died between 11am and 4pm on Monday due to direct and indirect instigation by Sayem Sobhan.

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