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13 July 2017

‘I’ve got a surprise for you’: Husband blindfolds wife, chops off her fingers

A jealous husband is facing life in prison after chopping off his wife’s fingers because she began studying for a degree without his permission.

Rafiqul Islam, 30, blindfolded his wife Hawa Akhter, 21, and taped her mouth, telling her he was going to give her a surprise present.

Instead he made her hold out her hand and cut off all five fingers. One of his relatives then threw Ms Akhter’s fingers in the dustbin to ensure doctors could not reattach them.

Hawa Akhter has said she will continue her studies, despite the horrific attack

Mr Islam, who is a migrant worker in the United Arab Emirates, had warned his wife there would ‘severe consequences’ if she did not give up her studies.

‘After he came back to Bangladesh, he wanted to have a discussion with me,’ Ms Akhter told The Times.

‘Suddenly, he blindfolded me and tied my hand. He also taped my mouth saying that he would give me some surprise gifts. But, instead he cut off my fingers.’

Mohammed Saluddin, the Bangladesh police chief said that Mr Islam had confessed after he was arrested in the capital, Dhaka, and will face charges of permanent disfiguration.

Human rights groups are demanding life imprisonment.

‘He was enraged. He was jealous because while he only had a grade eight standard education, she was off to college to pursue higher studies,’ said Mr Saluddin.

Ms Akhter says she is learning to write with her left hand and is determined to resume her studies. She is now back at her parent’s house.

The attack is the latest in a series of acts targeting educated women in the Muslim-majority company.

In June, an unemployed man gouged out the eyes of his wife, an assistant professor at Dhaka University, apparently because he could not stand her pursuing higher studies at a Canadian University.

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