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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wife driven out over affair, kills self and kids - report

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:10 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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BANGLADESHI police say they are investigating the death of a woman who jumped under a train with her four children after a village court ordered her ostracism for an extramarital affair.
Ferdousi Akhter, 32, and two of her children died in the incident on Sunday, with her two other children critically injured, police in Habiganj district in northeastern Bangladesh said.

Akhter is believed to have committed suicide after a village court ordered she be driven out of her house and cast out of the community for having an affair with her neighbour, local website BDNews24.com reported.

Akhter, whose husband works in the United Arab Emirates, may have acted "out of humiliation" as she became pregnant and had an abortion during the affair, local police chief Moinuddin Chowdhury told AFP.

"It seems she took her own life on Sunday after her affair became known to her in-laws and her parents," he said.
Today, the High Court summoned Chowdhury and eight villagers, including the local council chief, to appear on August 22 to answer questions on the alleged village court ruling.

Village courts are legal in Bangladesh but are only empowered to settle disputes related to land ownership, inheritance and other minor issues.

Last month, New York-based Human Rights Watch highlighted abuses committed by local councils in Bangladesh, which often hand out harsh punishments to women on the basis of a religious edict, or fatwa.

The group urged Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 150 million people, to prevent village courts from abusing their power.

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