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Timely action could have averted arson attack on Nusrat Jahan: Bangla Police

ANI | Updated: Apr 19, 2019 15:33 IST

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Apr 19 (ANI): The Bangladesh Police on Thursday said that the arson attack on Nusrat Jahan Rafi could have been averted had the local administration and the madrasa governing body taken necessary measures on the 27 March sexual harassment case.
"This incident (Nusrat murder) would not have happened had they taken steps earlier," Bangladeshi daily Prothom Alo quoted the Police as saying.
Addressing the media, Deputy Inspector General M Ruhul Amin said that they found the evidence of fault of former officer-in-charge (OC) of Sonagazi Model police station, Moazzem Hossain. An investigation has been launched against the OC and other police officers, the DIG added.
Nineteen-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi was burned to death on April 10, on the orders of her school principal, Siraj-ud-Daula, after she had accused him of sexual harassment in late March. Jahan, in a first information report, alleged that the school headmaster had called her into his office and touched inappropriately.
The former OC had filmed her statement on his phone as she described her ordeal. The victim, who was visibly distressed in the video tried to hide her face with her hands. However, the policeman is heard calling the complaint “no big deal” and told the victim to move her hands from her face. The video was later leaked to local media, The Dhaka Tribune reported.
After this, numerous pupils from her school organised a rally in support of the principal and threatened the girl along with her family.
According to the statement given by Nusrat, a fellow female student took her to the roof of her school, where four or five people wearing burqas surrounded her and pressured her to withdraw the case. When she declined, they set her on fire.
“The accused wanted to make it look like a suicide,” the police said.
She breathed her last at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on April 10 after the medical team was unable to cure her burns, which covered 80 per cent of her body.
The DIG told Prothom Alo that Sirajuddoula had some bad track records and the managing committee was aware of those.  
He added that local politics is also a factor behind the incident. "Two councillors of a party formed human chains in favour and against the principal," he said.
Meanwhile, Hafez Abdul Quader, one of the madrasa students, in a statement to Senior Judicial Magistrate Sharaf Uddin Ahmed, confessed that the murder plan was finalised at a meeting attended by 12 people following an order by madrasa principal Sirajuddoula.
A team comprising of five members visited the madrasa on Wednesday and Thursday and spoke to the teachers, students, employees and parents of other children regarding their respective opinions in the sexual harassment case.
The sexual harassment incident of a teenage girl in the Islamic country has triggered international community condemnation. Following the tragic incident, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met Nusrat's family in Dhaka and stressed that "none of the culprits will be spared from legal action", Sputnik reported. (ANI)

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