Madhya pradesh gangrape
[Representational image] Creative Commons

Nusrat Jahan Rafi, an 18-year-old Bangladeshi girl, died after being set on fire by four men after she refused to withdraw the complaint of her school principal sexually harassing her.

In her complaint, Nusrat, who was studying at a madrasa in Feni, said that her school principal, Maulana Siraj Ud Doula, used to touch her inappropriately whenever she was called to his office. She felt uncomfortable and tried telling her teachers but they hushed the matter.

When the girl went to the police to file a complaint on March 27, her statement was illegally filmed by the police. In addition to this, the video was also uploaded on Facebook.

This increased the risk of the girl getting into danger since her identity was revealed and the school principal was a very powerful man. After she filed her statement and the video was uploaded, the girl and her family started receiving death threats from many of the Maulana's supporters, Buzzfeed reports. 

The Maulana was then arrested and many students of the madrasa took to the streets protesting against his arrest. In addition to this, the girl's family was also threatened with dire consequences if she did not withdraw her complaint.

On April 6, Nusrat was called to the terrace of her school where four men in burqas told her to withdraw the complaint. When she refused, she was set on fire after being doused in petrol. 

She suffered almost 80 per cent burns and succumbed to the injuries on April 10. She was initially admitted to a local hospital and was later shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

This act was condemned by many across the country with the principal, his students and the police called out for the unethical direction in which the case went.

justice  for nusrat

After the news came to light, protests were carried out across the nation against the unjustified killed of the 18-year-old girl.

A social media campaign with hashtag #JusticeforNusrat was launched with many demanding that the culprits should be brought to justice. 

Unicef chief Henrietta H Fore took to Twitter to express her support for the movement. She tweeted, "I join the UN family in Bangladesh & all Bangladeshis in calling for justice for Nusrat, who was brutally killed for having the courage to report her abuse. Every girl must be safe at school, supported to speak up & protected from retaliation #ENDviolence."

henrietta H fore tweet

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also promised to bring Nusrat's killers to justice. Speaking to reporters, she said, "Nusrat's killers won't be spared. I personally believe they would have to face exemplary punishment so that none can dare to commit such heinous crimes in future."

She then added, "None of the culprits will be spared from legal action."

At least 14 people were taken into police custody by April 15. On Sunday, two of the main suspects, Nuruddin and Shahadat, confessed to their crimes and said that they planned the girl's murder along with five other people, Daily Star reports. The police discovered that the girl was attacked by three men and one woman.