DHAKA, Dec 17, 2011 (AFP) - Bangladesh police said Thursday they would press charges against a migrant worker accused of cutting off most of his wife's hand after she started studying for a college degree without his permission.
Rafiqul Islam tied up his 21-year-old wife, taped up her mouth and then cut off the five fingers of her right hand just hours after he had returned from the United Arab Emirates, police chief Mohammad Salauddin said.
"He was enraged because he did not like her studying at college. He was jealous because while he only had a grade 8 standard education, she was off to college to pursue higher studies," he told AFP.
Islam, 30, admitted to the crime after he was arrested in Dhaka, Salauddin said, adding that police had finished an investigation and would charge Islam with permanent disfiguration, which is punishable by life imprisonment.
The wife, Hawa Akhter, who has received medical treatment and is now back at her parent's house, has said that she is still keen to complete her studies despite the attack.
"My right hand has been cut off, but I can use my other hand," she told local English-language newspaper The Daily Star.
The attack is the latest in a gruesome series of acts of domestic violence targeting educated women in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.
In June, an unemployed husband gouged out the eyes of his wife, an assistant professor at the prestigious Dhaka University, apparently because could not stand her pursuing higher studies at a Canadian University.
Rights groups said high-profile cases of violence against women have spiked in recent years.
After eight consecutive years of declining attacks, the number of acid attacks increased in 2010, although it is still down from a record high nearly a decade ago, according to private charity Acid Survivors Foundation.