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Student burned to death for reporting sexual harassment in Bangladesh

She was assaulted by her madrassa headmaster

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 18, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Apr 18, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Student burned to death for reporting sexual harassment in Bangladesh

Nineteen-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi was burned to death on April 6 for reporting sexual harassment against her headmaster in Bangladesh.

She was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her madrassa in Bangladesh, BBC reported. Rafi was from Feni, a small town 100 miles south of Dhaka.

She alleged on March 27 that her headmaster called her into his office and “repeatedly touched her” in an inappropriate manner. Before things could escalate, she fled.

Rafi went to the local police with her family to file a complaint. At the station, instead of been given a safe environment to talk about her trauma, she was filmed by the officer on his phone while she gave her statement.

The headmaster was arrested by the police but a group of people gathered in the streets demanding his release. The protest was arranged by two male students and local politicians also attended, according to reports.

Her family said they started to worry about the girl’s safety and on April 6, 11 days after the assault, she had to go to the school to give her final exams.

Related: Case filed after Canadian woman harassed in Islamabad

“I took my sister to school and tried to enter the premises, but I was stopped and wasn’t allowed to enter,” said Nusrat’s brother, Mahmudul Hasan Noman. “If I hadn’t been stopped, something like this wouldn’t have happened to my sister,” he said.

Rafi was taken to the roof by a female student, saying one of her friends was being beaten up. She was threatened by four to five people in burqas to withdraw the case. When she refused to accept their terms, they set her on fire.

Police Bureau of Investigation chief Banaj Kumar Majumder said the killers made the scene look like it was suicide. “One of the killers was holding her head down with his hands, so kerosene wasn’t poured there and that’s why her head wasn’t burned,” Majumder told BBC Bengali.

Doctors said the burns covered 80% of her body. They shifted her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital to treat the burns. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, she recorded her statement on her brother’s mobile phone. “The teacher touched me; I will fight this crime till my last breath,” she said.

She died on April 15. A huge crowd gathered in her hometown for her funeral. Police have arrested 15 people, seven of them allegedly involved in the murder.

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  1. Purandhar Setlur  April 20, 2019 4:41 am/ Reply

    Sickening to read. My condolences to her immediate family and may her soul rest in peace.

  2. S Mishra  April 20, 2019 6:54 am/ Reply

    Shameful. The Criminals must be Executed.

  3. Faraz  April 20, 2019 8:12 am/ Reply

    It’s extremely sad how sick people are put in posts whiere they abuse their powers. The headmaster, the police officer and all students are murderers and should be hanged or beheaded as per Islamic laws.

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