Maldives Police Service on Tuesday proclaimed that nothing unusual has been discovered so far in the investigation into the death of Raudha Athif, a Maldivian medical student and model, who was found allegedly “hanging” in her hostel at Islami Bank Medical College and Hospital in Bangladesh.
In a press conference at Iskandhar Koshi, Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz stated that though the investigation has not revealed anything unusual yet, the police are proceeding further with their probe as there is indication that an undisclosed party has tried to divert the focus away from the case soon after her death.
According to Police, the team deployed to Bangladesh to conduct the investigation has met with several students that attend Islami Bank Medical College to gather information, particularly with close friends of Raudha.
Describing the site of death, Chief Superintendent Riyaz stated that Raudha’s hostel room’s only point of entry is its main double doors. Noting that the doors cannot be locked from the outside, Riyaz added that a slight gap between the double doors would enable people outside to see inside the room.
Referring to media reports of her family’s accusations that Raudha’s death was murder staged to look like suicide, Riyaz stated that the broken mirror of Raudha’s wardrobe and side rail of her bed were broken before the night of her death. He said that Police has not found any other evidence of a violent incident that might have taken place in her room that night.
Referring once again to media reports of missing security footage from Raudha’s hostel the night of her death on March 29, Riyaz reported that some of the security cameras had been broken before that and their CCTC footages were not recorded on servers since March 25.
Riyaz confirmed that Raudha was found dead first by her friend, Seerat Parveen, who had raised the alarm. According to Police, Seerat had hung back while other students rushed into Raudha’s room.
Touching on the subject of Raudha and Seerat who were both said to have gone to the hospital the night of the former’s death, Riyaz stated that the two students had gone separately. He added that Seerat was reported to have returned before Raudha and that another Maldivian student had seen Raudha entering her room after her return.
Shedding more light on the students that had tried to open her door after she was discovered, Riyaz reported that aside from students of four different nationalities, college security had also been involved in trying to unlock the doors. Declaring that there had not been any personal clashes between Raudha and the involved students, Chief Superintendent Riyaz stated that there was no room to suspect that any of the students had worked together to harm her.
The chief superintendent also confirmed talks and media reports that several close friends of Raudha had unfollowed her Instagram a few days after her death, after which an unknown party had deactivated the account. Riyaz declared that these incidents indicate that someone had tried to divert the focus away from Raudha’s death and that Police are further investigating the matter.
Riyaz also disclosed that Police had found out that Raudha had borrowed a laptop of another Maldivian student the night of her death. Upon discovering that Raudha had logged into a Facebook account of someone else on that laptop, Riyaz said Police had to conduct further questioning of Maldivian students.
Raudha’s mobile phone is also currently in possession of the police, who had unlocked it with help from one of her friends. According to Police, the friend claimed that Raudha had once told them the password while they were using her phone to look up a recipe on the Internet. Police declared that they gathered a lot of information from Raudha’s mobile phone. They have also taken a statement from a person residing in the Maldives’ capital of Male in connection with the information obtained.
Chief Superintendent Riyaz finally elaborated on the issue of the ligature mark around Raudha’s neck which her family have claimed was made from strangulation. According to Riyaz, Raudha was found hanging from two scarfs tied together, and the mark was the result of the knot digging into her neck along with the scarves’ material.
Maldives Police Service held the press conference a few days after Raudha’s father, Dr Mohamed Athif, released a long statement detailing the reasons why the family suspect her death to be murder. Among the points included, he highlighted that they found no signs of forced entry in Raudha’s room despite the college’s claims that the door locks had to be broken to enter her room. The family also maintained that the marks around Raudha’s neck were from strangulation and they claimed that Raudha had clashed with her friend, Seerat Parveen, who had allegedly put sleeping pills in Raudha’s glass of juice. Seerat Parveen has since denied the accusation. Adding that Raudha had not suffered any emotional or health issues that could lead to suicide, Dr Athif had called on the authorities to independently investigate her death and bring the alleged culprits to justice.