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Bangladesh business tycoon faces nasty allegations

Mirpur Cantonment Public School and College, Gulshan area, Bangladesh

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Bangladesh business tycoon faces nasty allegations

A case has been filed against Sayem Sobhan Anvir, managing director of Bangladesh’s largest business conglomerate Bashundhara Group accusing him of abetting the suicide of his mistress named Mosarat Jahan Munia, 21, of Comilla, a second-year student and HSC exam candidate at Mirpur Cantonment Public School and College. Dhaka Metropolitan Police Gulshan Division Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sudip Kumar Chakraborty confirmed the matter.

Deceased elder sister Nusrat Jahan, filed a case under Section 306 of the Penal Code at Gulshan police station, accusing Bashundhara Group Managing Director (MD) Sayem Sobhan Anvir of abetting the suicide, who rented the flat for her. Munia was found hanging in a posh apartment at city’s Gulshan area. The apartment was rented by Sayem Sobhan Anvir.

Section 306 stipulates: “If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Quoting her sister, police said that Munia committed suicide in that flat, where she started living alone in March.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court on Monday imposed a travel ban on Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, barring him from leaving the country. Although, according to credible sources, Sayem took off to Dubai, UAE, and is not currently present in the country.

Sayem Sobhan Anvir’s abruptly leaving Bangladesh for Dubai and the subsequent death of Mosarat Jahan Munia has already generated doubts about the exact reason of Munia’s death. Police will investigate if she had been hanged by any killer. Investigators will check the video footage of the CC cameras of the building, although it is doubted that if the case is murder, the wealthy businessman might have already destroyed all evidences of the CC camera footages.

A top official of Bashundhara Group reportedly confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune, according to media reports. Sayem is the son of Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, the chairman of one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Bangladesh.

Munia’s father was a freedom fighter, Shafiqur Rahman, and the family hails from Comilla district.

According to the case statement, Bashundhara MD Sayem and Munia had known each other since the last two years. They went out for dates in different restaurants and started talking over the phone and had a relationship.

In 2019, Sayem rented an apartment for Munia, presenting their relationship as husband and wife. A photo of them as a couple was framed in their apartment.

While the news of Sayem’s extra marital affair came into the knowledge of his family, his mother summoned Munia through another woman named Piasa and threatened Munia and asked her to leave Dhaka.

Under such circumstance, assuring that he would marry her, Sayem hurriedly sent Munia back to her family in Comilla.

Later, Sayem convinced Munia to return to Dhaka and housed her in a rented posh apartment in Gulshan area on March 1, 2021. This time, the Gulshan house was rented by the elder sister of Munia, although the family does not have financial capability of bearing rent of such apartment.

According to the case statement, Munia had gotten into an argument again with Sayem after photos of an iftar party that she attended with the landlord’s family were shared on social media by the landlord’s wife on April 23. Sayem expressed fear that Piasa, a Facebook friend of the landlord’s wife, would notify his mother about the recent development, as per the case statement. Sayem had also asked Munia to immediately return to Comilla and also told her that he would be leaving for Dubai on April 27.

According to the case statement, it was mentioned that Munia’s life was under threat and she may get murdered if Sayem’s parents discovered their relationship.

Plaintiff Nusrat, in a case statement, said that her sister had told her that the accused would marry her and live abroad. Especially since if they remain in Bangladesh, Sayem’s parents would kill Munia, even if they do nothing with their son.

Dhaka Tribune claims to have obtained an unverified audio conversation of Sayem and Munia where a male voice is heard accusing the female of stealing BDT 5 million. The female was heard crying and repeatedly denying the claim of threat, while the male voice was repeatedly cursing and using expletives.

Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Gulshan Division, Sudip Kumar Chakraborty, said: “Munia informed her elder sister on Sunday that she was in trouble. Hearing this, Nusrat came to Dhaka from Comilla on Monday and rushed to her flat in the evening.

“As Munia was unreachable over the phone for a while and she was not opening the door, Nusrat had the lock broken and then found her sister hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom.”

She later informed the building owner and then the police were called in, said DC Sudip.

Munia’s body was sent to the Dhaka Medical College morgue for an autopsy, he said.

He added that police have collected all electronic gadgets Munia used from the flat and CCTV camera footage of the apartment building. “We are investigating the incident and analyzing the evidence.”

Sudip said Munia was an unemployed student, but the apartment, which the businessman used to visit, was rented at BDT 100,000 alongside BDT 11,000 service charge per month.

Bashundhara Group owns two vernacular and one English daily newspaper as well as a news agency and a private television channel.

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