Mymensingh joint suicide defies common sense

It beats common sense why the family of nine would commit suicide hand in hand in Mymensingh. At least until now. According to the dairies recovered from their home, they wanted a pure life as lived by Adam and Eve, freeing themselves from bondage to any religion. In preparation for their own death, they dug a mass grave in the lawn of the house and kept coffins ready. Correspondent Jahangir Kabir Jewel tries to connect the dots only to get lost in the family's strange past.
Published : 12 July 2007, 10:37 AM
Updated : 12 July 2007, 10:37 AM
Jahangir Kabir Jewel Correspondent
Mymensingh, July 12 (— The apparently inexplicable joint suicide of nine members of a family on Wednesday has caused equal measures of shock, disbelief and curiosity in Mymensingh and throughout the rest of the country.
The paucity of evidence behind the incident shows that the family of nine who committed suicide in front a speeding train in Mymensingh had been trying to commit suicide everyday since July 7.
According to the dairies recovered from their home, they wanted a pure life as lived by "Adam and Eve," freeing themselves from bondage to any religion. The nine family members, aged between nine and sixty years old, ended their earthly life under the wheels of a running train in the belief that they would return as "Adam" in their next life.
Mymensingh GRP police recovered the bodies Thursday morning and sent them to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital for autopsy. After the completion of the autopsy no one had came to claim the bodies up to noon that day. According to police super Rafiqul Islam, if nobody takes charge of the bodies they will be handed over to Anjuman Mufidul Islam, a charity organisation.
Police have sealed the house belonging to the deceased, now known locally as "Adam House," in Kashor area of Mymensingh. Though hundreds of people thronged to the spot Thursday too to see the coffins and the grave that the family had prepared in the premises of their home.
According to neighbours, the head of the family, the late Anwar Hossain alias Anwar Darbesh, was a retired army personnel. He died of natural causes on July 10, 2000. Since then the family had had no communication with neighbours or relatives. They voluntarily chose an isolated life.
The family's joint suicide has created a sensation in Mymensingh. Locals are particularly curious about their belief system. Nobody can say for sure which religion the residents of "Adam House" adhered to. spoke to Anwar Darbesh's younger brother retired army officer Abdul Hannan at Gohailkandi in Mymensingh Thursday.
Hannan said, after his brother died of a heart attack the remaining members of the family had secretly converted to Christianity. "Afterwards they became distant from their other relatives and neighbours. If anybody went to enquire about them they would behave badly with them."
In the dairy recovered from "Adam House" Anwar Darbesh's eldest son Arif wrote that they had not yet found solace in the Christian religion. Leaders of the Christian community in Mymensingh also confirmed that the members of the family did not join them in Christian ceremonies.
Quoting the diary, police superintendent Rafiqul Islam said: "In reality they did not believe in any traditional religion. According to the narration in the diary at one time they even worshipped Kali."
"They did not find their expected salvation in Christianity either. They were searching for a 'free' life outside the bondage of religion like 'Adam and Eve lived' in the early days of the earth. That is why they referred to themselves as the 'Adam' family," said Islam
In the diary Arif also recorded that they first tried to commit suicide on 07.07.07 in the belief that they would return as "Adam". The family members also tried to commit suicide on July 10, the death anniversary of Anwar Darbesh, which they observed every year as "Black Day". In preparation they dug a mass grave in the lawn of the house and kept coffins ready.
The diary written by Arif gives the impression that their novel belief system inspired them to commit suicide under the wheels of the train. However, Abdul Hannan believes the members of his brother's family were suffering from mental illness.
Police are investigating whether there is any further explanation for the sad and mysterious suicide of an entire family in Mymensingh. hours
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher