Tribute to British father and son found dead after suspected ‘poisoning’

A tribute was paid to a British father and his teenage son who were found dead in an apartment in Bangladesh after suspected ‘poisoning’.

Afikul Islam, 51, and Mahikul, 16, along with three other members of their family, were found unconscious by police on Tuesday afternoon.

Both died on the way to the hospital, while his wife, eldest son and daughter continue to receive treatment at the Ottoman Medical College and Sylhet MAG Hospital (SOMCH).

Khusnara, 45, and Samira, 20, are in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU), while Sadiqul, 24, is doing well.

The family from Riverside in Cardiff spent a two-month holiday visiting relatives in the countryside and rented an apartment in the eastern town of Sylhet.

Bangladesh Police Superintendent Farid Uddin said: “After discussing the general situation with the doctors and inspecting the scene, we believe it may have been poisoning.

“Other people in the building are close relatives of the victims.

“We interviewed them.

“At this point, we believe they fell asleep after dinner last night.


Rafiqul Islam, second from right, was a “beloved and respected” member of the Cardiff community, friends said. family handout)

“This should be investigated further. How were they poisoned? How did they die? We will be able to confirm this after an investigation.”

Mr Uddin said the family slept in the same room after dinner on Monday evening.

The next day, the relatives raised the alarm at about 10 am after no sound could be heard from the apartment and unsuccessfully tried to open the door.

Supt Uddin added: “After they were taken to the hospital, the father and youngest son were declared dead.

“Mother and daughter are in critical condition.

“They have been transferred to intensive care.

“Another brother, Sadykul, is undergoing treatment.”

Authorities at first thought the family had been stricken with food poisoning, but have since opened a police investigation into the circumstances of the death.

The police are still awaiting the results of the autopsy, which has already taken place.

According to a family friend, family members, including Islam’s mother and brother and sister, flew to Bangladesh.

Community members say they are in “total shock” from the tragedy.

Muhibur Islam of the Jalalia Mosque and Center for Islamic Education described Islam as a “beloved and respected member of society”.

“It was a complete shock, it still hasn’t reached everyone.

“Most of us are now praying for the rest of the family to get through this.

“All thoughts are for them to survive.

“It’s such a terrible tragedy and we don’t believe it at all.

“We ask everyone to pray for the family,” he added.

Mohammed Haroun, general secretary of the Bangladesh Association in Cardiff, said he used to work with Mr. Islam, who was a taxi driver in Cardiff, and said: “He was a very nice person, a very helpful person who was at the mosque all the time. and ongoing engagement with the community.

Mr. Haroun said that Mr. Islam was a member of their local badminton and football teams.

“It’s very sad.

“But I believe that the eldest son is now quite healthy, he got up and speaks.

“His (Mr. Islam) daughter is still in critical condition and his wife is not yet out of danger.”

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department said: “We are providing consular assistance to a British family following the incident in Bangladesh and are in contact with the local authorities.”

Riverside Labor Advisor Kanaya Singh told Wales Online: “Obviously this is a disturbing and tragic event.

“Everyone I spoke to in the community speaks very highly of the family and our thoughts are with them.

“There is also a lot of concern because a lot of people from Riverside go to Bangladesh on a regular basis.”