Raudha Athif, who appeared on Vogue India’s Beauty in Diversity cover shoot in October, was reported to have been found hanged at the end of March.
However her brother has since spoken out insisted that the 21-year-old, who was from the Maldives, was murdered by extremists and her death was made to look like a suicide.An autopsy into the second-year student’s death ruled the tragedy as suicide.
Her dad, Mohamed Athif, also spoke out stating: ‘Maldivian medical student and my daughter Raudha Athif did not commit suicide. She was murdered at her hostel room. I have the facts.’
Raudha’s body was discovered at the hostel in Bangladesh on March 29.
Speaking to The Sun, her brother, Rayyan Athif, said that extremists were behind her death.
He said: ‘There have been a series of murders in Bangladesh which have been staged to look like suicides and Islamic extremists have been suspected to be behind these atrocities.He claimed that she was targeted for standing up for people bullied over their religious issues, and that just weeks before she died she had claimed someone had slipped sleeping pills into her drink.
‘Her style of clothing was branded as immodest and un-Islamic even though she adhered to the dress code in the college premises by wearing a veil covering her face.
‘But she was criticised for wearing jeans and was repeatedly told she couldn’t wear it at the Muslim college – which has a lot of extremist connections and support. Other students have also been subjected to this type of bullying.’
The autopsy apparently dismissed marks of her neck as ‘birthmarks’, however the former model’s family claim she did not have any.
Police in the Maldives have reportedly met with Bangladesh’s Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) and medical college bosses amid heightened speculation over the death.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Amin Hossain, assistant commissioner of RMP Detective Branch, said there was a ’50 per cent chance that she did not commit suicide’.
As well as modelling Athif was to become a doctor at Islami Bank Medical College in the Nawdapara and is followed by 31,000 people on Instagram.
She told Vogue India in October that she dreamed of becoming a doctor and modelling was more of a hobby.
The shoot she appeared in featured six models from different parts of the Indian subcontinent.