A Canadian teenage girl, who was allegedly confined to a home in Dhaka by her parents for over 10 months, was handed over to the Canadian High Commission.
High Court Registrar Golam Rabbani handed over the girl to officials of the Canadian High Commission on Sunday afternoon following a High Court order passed in the morning.
The High Court (HC) asked Golam Rabbani to hand over the 19-year-old teen to the Canadian High Commission in Dhaka, as she wants to go back to Canada.
At the same time, the court asked the Canadian High Commission to take necessary steps to send her back to Canada, ensure the safety of the girl and make arrangements if the girl's parents want to visit.
An HC bench comprising Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by two human rights organisations on behalf of the Canadian High Commission.
Barrister Sara Hossain moved for the petitioner during the hearing while Advocate Md Ajiullah for the parents. The father of the teen and officials of the embassy were present in the court.
The girl will remain under the custody of the Canadian High Commission until she returns to Canada completing all relevant procedures.
Sources said the teen is a Canadian citizen by birth and a student of Toronto University. She used to live there along with her parents, who are also Canadian citizens. They all came to Bangladesh in March last year and settled at a home in the Mugda area in the capital. When the girl wanted to move back to Canada, the parents disagreed.
The Canadian High Commission lodged a general diary (GD) with Mugda police station in the capital on 9 February.
After receiving a letter from the Canadian High Commission on the same day, Bangladesh Legal Aid Services (Blast) and Ain O Salish Kendra filed a writ petition with the HC on 5 April on behalf of the high commission.
According to the petition, the girl's mobile phone was seized, and her grandmother and mother always kept her locked at home. At one point, the girl informed the Canadian government and the Canadian High Commission in Dhaka, about her "house arrest" using a land phone. She also wished to return to Canada.
On 5 April, the HC ordered the inspector general of police, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner, the officer-in-charge of Mugda police station and the parents of the girl to produce the girl before the court. At the same time, the parents were also asked to appear before the court.
According to the order, the parents along with the girl were present in the court on 12 April.
On that day, the court asked the parents to provide the teen with a computer, mobile phone, internet and other essential things.
The court also ruled that the teen cannot be barred from going to Canada if she wants.
Later, the Canadian High Commission said the Canadian government will bear all the expenses of the girl including her educational cost.