Bangladeshi cricketer charged for torturing underage maid
- If convicted, Shahadat and his wife, Jasmine Jahan Nritto, could face jail terms of between seven and 14 years
Bangladesh cricket team player Shahadat Hossain and his wife were charged by the Dhaka police on December 29 with torturing an 11-year-old girl whom they had reportedly employed as a domestic servant.
The police submitted a charge sheet to the court in Dhaka accusing the couple of physically torturing the underage maid.
If convicted, the cricketer and his wife, Jasmine Jahan Nritto Shahadat, could face jail terms of between seven and 14 years, plus a fine. They are currently on bail and deny charges of employing and assaulting a minor.
Both were bailed earlier this month after spending some time in prison after their arrests in October. They had fled their homes after the initial case was filed, leading police to carry out raids at locations including Hossain’s ancestral village.
Hossain turned himself in on October 5. He initially went to police on 6 September claiming that his maid had gone missing, hours before she was found on the streets of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka with multiple serious injuries including a broken leg and a black eye.
The case came to light after Khandkar Mozzamel Haque, a passerby, found the 11-year-old girl on September 6 on the streets of Dhaka’s Mirpur neighbourhood. He then took her to the local police station. According to investigating officer Shafiqur Rahman, the girl accused the cricketer and his wife of regularly torturing her.
The girl, Mahfuza Akhter, known as Happy told police that she had been working for the couple for a year and that they had beaten and tortured her.
The case is to be heard on 12 January at Dhaka high court where they will face charges under Bangladesh’s Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.
29-year-old medium fast bowler has played 38 Tests and 51 ODIs for Bangladesh since 2005. He last played for Bangladesh in May against Pakistan.
Hossain, who has taken 72 wickets in 38 Test matches, 47 wickets in 51 ODIs and 4 wickets in 6 Twenty20 International appearances, was once considered the most promising young fast bowler from Bangladesh.
Shahadat Hossain is also the only Bangladesh bowler to be listed on the Lord’s honours board.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has already suspended the medium-fast bowler from all cricket until further notice.
Child labour remains common in the Indian subcontinent with many families relying on the income their children generate for survival, despite a ban on employing anyone under 14 years introduced in 2006.Published 30 Dec 2015, 16:28 IST