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Sirajaddaula: Ordering Nusrat's murder was a mistake

  • Published at 02:39 pm June 19th, 2019
Sonagazi madrasa principal Sirajuddaula
File photo: Feni's Sonagazi Madrasa Principal and main accused in the arson attack case of a student from the same madrasa, being taken to remand by police in Feni, April 10, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

In his confession, the Sonagazi madrasa principal also detailed his reasons for ordering Nusrat's murder

Sonagazi madrasa principal Sirajaddaula—the main accused of murdering Sonagazi madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi —has confessed that it was a mistake for him to order Nusrat's murder. 

In his confessional statement to the court, under section 164, Sirajaddaula said the plan was devised to protect the collective interests of those involved.

Nusrat was set ablaze at her madrasa campus by Sirajaddaula's followers for refusing to withdraw the previously-filed sexual harassment charges against him on April 6. The 18-year-old died of her injuries on April 10.

"Ordering Nusrat's murder was a mistake," he said. "I should not have done it."

He further told the court that after joining Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa, as its principal, in 2001, he slowly started to create his sphere of influence. 

He would give various unethical incentives to several of his students—who later became his close associates—to maintain that sphere of influence over madrasa teachers and other students.

Some of these incentives included waiving their fees or providing them with special assistance during exams. Sirajaddaula also admitted students based upon these associates' preferences. They would get commission from the admission fees. 

These associates are: madrasa Chhatra League President Shahadat Hossain Shamim, Chhatra Dal President Nur Uddin, Hafez Abdul Kader, Jabed, Jubair, Emran, Rana, Sharif, and others. 

While talking about Nusrat's murder, Sirajaddaula said, on the morning of March 27, he asked his assistant, Nurul Amin, to call Nusrat to his room and pressure her into breaking off her alleged relationship with another boy. 

Three girls accompanied Nusrat , but only Nusrat was allowed to enter the room. 

"After I started talking to her, she fell down on the floor, whereupon I held her from behind and tried to explain the situation to her," Sirajaddaula said. "But, she continued sitting on the floor."

When Nurul Amin was called again to take her away, he found her sitting on the ground. Nusrat left with the girls that had accompanied her.

Upon the court asking him about Nusrat's parents' reaction to this incident, Sirajaddaula said, in the afternoon of the same day, Nusrat's mother and younger brother came to the madrasa to meet with him. His associates, Nur Uddin and Shamim, were also present.

At one point, Nusrat's mother attempted to hit him, and Sirajaddaula responded by threatening her. 

Understanding his precarious position, Sirajaddaula contacted Sonagazi Awami League President Ruhul Amin to help him. Amin sent Sub-Inspector Iqbal to the madrasa, and after interrogating Nusrat, Iqbal took Sirajaddaula to Sonagazi police station.

A sexual harassment case was filed, and Sirajaddaula was arrested in connection with the case.

His confessional statement further said, on March 28, at his request, Councillor Maksud and Ruhul Amin organized a human chain demanding Sirajaddaula's release. Shamim, Nur, Kader, and madrasa students also participated in the human chain. 

However, the court sent him to jail on the same day. The next day, aside from his family, a group of Sirajaddaula's associates – including Nur, Shamim, and others – went to visit him in jail, where they discussed his bail and the possibilities of getting charges against him withdrawn.

Sirajaddaula instructed them to continue their protests for his release, and to keep pressuring Nusrat and her family into withdrawing the charges.

And there, inside the jail, Sirajaddaula gave his approval for his followers' plan of murdering Nusrat. 

"I am deeply repentant of my decision to give that order," Sirajaddaula said.