Public Prosecutor Hafez Ahammad confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune
The defence counsel of the Nusrat Jahan Rafi murder case has attempted to claim her murder as a case of suicide.
The claim was made during a cross-examination of defendants Nishat Sultana and Nasrin Sultana Furti, classmates of Rafi, by the defence counsel, in Feni's Woman and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal Judge Mamunur Rashid's courtroom on Monday.
Public Prosecutor Hafez Ahammad confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
The cross-examination was conducted by six defence counselors, advocates Kamrul Hasan, Gias Uddin Nannu, Mahfuzur Rahman, Nurul Islam, Ahsan Kabir Bengal and Farid Khan Nayan.
The court declared Tuesday as the date for examination by the remaining 12 counselors, while the testimony of Nurul Amin, office assistant of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa and a witness to the case, will also be recorded.
During Monday's examination, counselor Farid Khan Nayan claimed Nusrat had committed suicide and nobody had murdered her.
He added the defendants were giving false testimonies as the main accused principal Sirajuddaula had sternly warned all of them against romancing inside madrasa premises, and that this was all retribution against his rebuking.
The case plaintiff's lawyer Shahjahan Shaju said Nasrin Sultana Furti had testified in court about how Nur Uddin, a close confidant of Sirajuddaula, had intimidated Nusrat's mother about withdrawing her complaint with Sonagazi police on March 28.
Later on April 4, Md Shamim, another accused, had given Nusrat a final warning of withdrawing the case, but to no avail, she further told the court.
On April 6, on the pretext of unknown students beating up fellow student Nishat Sultana, Nusrat was taken to the third floor of the madrasah's administrative building, where she was set on fire with kerosene, Nasrin recalled.
Five individuals, including Shamim, Jabed and three others were all clad in burqa, which also included two girls.
Nishat also confirmed that Sirajuddaula had sexually harassed Nusrat after calling her into his own room on October 3, 2018.
Nusrat had later told this to her parents, who went to the madrasah operating committee to seek justice, but returned empty handed.
Sirajuddaula had also sexually harassed Nusrat on March 27 earlier this year. She had tried to go inside his room with Nishat and Nasrin, but they were not allowed to enter with her.
Nusrat died on 10 April while under treatment in Dhaka Medical College's Burn and Plastic Surgery Department.
Nusrat's brother Mahmudul Hasan Noman filed a case against eight accused in the Sonagazi Police Station. Later, the case was transferred to PBI. The police, and the PBI has arrested 21 in this case. Among them, 12 had given depositions under section 164.
Evidence has been found of negligence by three police officers in this incident. Also, ex-OC Moazzem has been arrested in this case of sexual harassment, and for spreading the video of Nusrat's deposition on the internet.