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Nusrat murder: PBI to recommend death penalty for Sirajuddaula, 15 others

  • Published at 01:55 pm May 28th, 2019
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The photo shows the bandaged feet of Feni madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, who died there while undergoing treatment on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The agency already has all 16 accused in custody

Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) Chief Banaj Kumar Majumder said they will file a charge sheet in court, seeking the death penalty for Sirajuddaula, the now suspended principal of Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa, and 15 others accused of murdering Nusrat Jahan Rafi.

The deputy inspector general (DIG) of police stated this at a press briefing at PBI Headquarters in Dhanmondi, on Tuesday morning.

He said: “The charge sheet will be filed on Wednesday. All the 16 accused are already in our custody.

“It has been primarily proven that 8 people who are named in the FIR and 8 others were found to be involved in the murder. We will seek death penalty for them.”

Police has completed their investigation and confirmed that the 16 accused were directly or indirectly involved in the murder. Of them, 12 accused made confessional statement before the court.

The 16 accused are Sirajuddaula, 57; Nur Uddin, 20; Shahdat Hossain Shamim, 20; Maksud Alam alias Moksud councilor, 50; Saifur Rahman Mohammad Jobayer, 21; Jabed Hossain alias Sakhwat Hossain Jaber, 19; Hafez Abdul Kader, 25; Afsar Uddin, 33; Kamrun Nahar Moni, 19; Umme Sultana Popy alias Tuhin alias Shampa alias Champa, 19; Abdur Rahim Sharif, 20; Eftekhar Uddin Rana, 22; Imran Hossain alias Mamun, 22; Mohammad Shamim, 20; Ruhul Amin, 55; and Mohiuddin Shakil, 20.

According to the police, they have gathered information from 92 witnesses, among whom seven have given their statements before the court.

The PBI chief added: “Our initial idea was, Nusrat was killed for rejecting the romantic proposal of accused Shahdat Hossain Shamim and for degrading the Alim society.

“But the truth is Nusrat was murdered for getting involved in the madrasa matters and for standing against the repression happening over there.”

The beginning 

Nusrat, who was an Alim examinee, suffered 80% burns to her body when she was set on fire on April 6 by four burqa-clad assailants—who were allegedly followers of Sirajuddaula— on the roof of the madrasa at Sonagazi. They killed her because she refused to withdraw an attempted rape case her family had filed against Sirajuddaula.

After she was set on fire, her family filed another case against eight people, including Sirajuddaula, on April 8.

The 18-year-old girl died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on April 10, after five days in treatment.

Finding police guilty in this murder, the case was later handed over to PBI.

The planning

According to Banaj, Nuruddin, Shahadat Hossain Shamim, Jabed Hossain, Abdul Kader and a few others visited Sirajuddaula on April 1 in jail, who told them to force Nusrat to withdraw the case.

According to sources, after the now suspended madrasa Principal Md Sirajuddaula was arrested in a sexual harassment case filed by Nusrat’s family, Ruhul Amin instructed Nuruddin and Shahadat to initiate a movement demanding Sirajuddaula’s release from jail. Sonagazi Municipality Councilor Maksud Alam gave them Tk10,000 to buy two burqas and four pairs of hand gloves for the job.

Later, another teacher of the madrasa also gave them Tk5,000 to stage a demonstration and burn Nusrat to death.

Accused Nuruddin, Shahadat Hossain Shamim, and Hafez Abdul Kader along with some other of the accused went in jail to meet Md Sirajuddaula in jail on April 3. After the meeting, they hatched the plan of threatening and murdering Nusrat if required. 

According to their plan, Nuruddin, Shahadat Hossain Shamim, Jabed Hossain, Jobaer, Popi, Kamrunnahar and a few others had a meeting in a room adjacent to the madrasa around 3pm on April 4 and planned Nusrat’s murder.

They had another meeting in the boys’ hostel of the madrasa around 9pm on April 4.

The following day accused Shamim bought one litre of kerosene from Bhuiya Bazar around 5pm and kept it with him.

Accused Shamim, Nuruddin, Hafez Abdul Kader arrived at the madrasa premises around 7:30am and took their positions as per the plan by 8am to 9:20am on April 6.

The crime

Describing the set on fire incident, PBI chief Banaj Kumar said, Shahadat Hossain Shamim kept kerosene oil and a glass, which he brought from principal's office, and kept those beside the bathroom of the roof. Three burqas and four pairs of hand gloves bought by Moni were kept in the second floor of the Cyclone Centre.

Later Shahadat Hossain Shamim, Jabed and Jobayer wore the burqa and hand gloves around 9:30 am and waited on the second floor, he added.

The official also said Umme Sultan, as per the plan, informed Nusrat that somebody was beating her friend as she came to madrasa to appear for the exam. Nusrat immediately ran to the roof to save her friend. As Nusrat reached the first floor of the Cyclone Centre, Popi threatened her to force her to withdraw the case.

Nusrat said that she would not withdraw the case. In the meantime, Moni, Shahadat Hossain Shamim, Jabed and Jobayer reached the roof and asked Nusrat to sign a few papers and continued to threaten her to withdraw the case. The accused got furious when Nusrat refused to sign, he said.

Shahadat Hossain Shamim then grabbed Nusrat's face with his left hand and pulled her hand back with his right hand. Meanwhile, Popi snatched Nusrat’s scarf from her body and gave that to Jobayer who then tore it into two parts. 

With one part of the scarf, Popi and Moni tied Nusrat hands from the behind and with the other part Jobayer tied up her legs while Jabed tied a knot around her feet. They dropped Nusrat on the rooftop floor and Shahadat pressed Nusrat's mouth and neck, Bonaj said.

He said Moni put pressure on Nusrat's chest, and Popi and Jobayer held her legs. Javed brought the kerosene in polythene kept near the adjacent bathroom and poured it with a glass over Nusrat’s body. Later, Jobayer set fire on Nusrat's body on Shahadat Hossain Shamim’s instruction.

They all got down from there. Moni and Popi went to the exam hall after the incident. The accused Jabed and Shahadat Hossain Shamim went to the third floor of the cyclone centre and removed the burqa. Later, Javed give the burqas to Shahadat Hossain Shamim and went to the exam hall.

Banaj said Shahadat Hossain Shamim left the scene from the backyard of the cyclone centre and threw the burqas in the madrasa’s pond while Jobayer left the place through the main gate of the madrasa and threw the burqa and gloves into the Dangi cannel of the Sonargazi College's.

Accused Nuruddin supervised the entire incident staying under the Cyclone Centre while the accused Mohiuddin Shakil and Mohammad Shamim guarded the two stairs of the Cyclone Center. Iftekhar Uddin Rana, Imran Hossain Mamun, Abdur Rahim Sharif and Hafez Abdul Kader guarded the main gate of Madrasa.

After the assassination, the accused moved away safely and campaigned in different ways to establish the incident as a suicide.