• Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:35 am

In the spider’s web

  • Published at 11:06 pm April 13th, 2019
Nusrat Jahan Rafi
File photo of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, an Alim examinee and student of Sonagazi Madrasa in Feni, who died on April 10, after being set on fire on April 6 Dhaka Tribune

Police Bureau of Investigation finds 13 people involved in elaborate plot to kill Nusrat

Even in jail, Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s alleged molester Sirajaddaula’s monstrous reach found the victim girl, plotting and bringing about her painful death.

Police findings revealed on Saturday that Nusrat’s burning involved an elaborate plan and a total of 13 people, starting from a meeting inside the jail with Siraj, the principal of the madrasa where she studied.

Feni’s Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa Principal, Md Sirajuddaula, was arrested on March 27 after the 18-year-old student filed a case against him for sexual harassment. On April 6, she was burned to death by four burqa-clad persons, despite Siraj being behind bars.

Siraj, with his network of influence in Sonagazi, had many vocal supporters among political leaders and the local administration. There were processions in his support, while the girl’s supporters were beaten off the streets. Nusrat and her family was threatened many times.

“On April 4, a number of people, including arrested Nur Uddin, met with Principal Sirajuddaula in jail. Sirajuddaula instructed them to kill Nusrat,” Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) chief, DIG Bonaj Kumar Majumdar, told a press briefing.

Shahadat Hossain Shamim, the madrasa’s Chhatra League president, met with a group of people, including Jabed Hossain and Hafez Abdul Kader, in the madrasa hostel. 

“There they decided to kill Nusrat. It was Shamim who proposed burning her,” he added.

Two girls were also involved in the crime. 

According to the plan, a girl (whose identity PBI knows but will not disclose now) brought the kerosene and three burqas to Shamim to the roof of the madrasa.

Also Read- Nusrat murder: Incident pre-planned,13 involved

Five people, including Nur and Hafez Abdul, took position at the madrasa entrance to keep watch and help the perpetrators flee.   

Another girl went to Nusrat, who was in an Alim exam hall, and told her someone had assaulted her friend on the roof of the cyclone centre building.

Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) holds a press briefing on the murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, at its headquarters in Dhanmondi, on April 13 Dhaka Tribune

Police said they have identified this girl as Shampa, alias Champa. The four assailants hid in the roof’s toilet. When Nusrat got up to the roof, the perpetrators captured her, tied her with a scarf, and threw kerosene on her. 

Then they set her on fire.

“We are confirmed that one girl and Shamim were among the four,” DIG Banaj said.

After carrying out the crime, the four assailants and Shampa fled through the main gate of the madrasa. All of them went into hiding.

The two predators

Siraj was not the only man whose unwanted attention was directed at Nusrat.

PBI found there were two reasons why Siraj and his followers decided to kill the girl.

First, by filing a case, she had ‘insulted’ alems, or religious scholars, as a whole.

Second, Nusrat repeatedly pushed aside the advances of Shahadat Hossain Shamim, the Chhatra League leader. Shamim was the one who proposed burning her to death.

“So far, PBI has arrested six people named in the FIR, in connection with the incident. One of the main accused, Sonagazi Senior Fazil Madrasa unit Chhatra League President, Shahadat Hossain Shamim, 20, is now in PBI custody but has not been formally arrested yet,” DIG Banaj said.

The others are: Principal Md Sirajaddaula, 45, Nuruddin, 20, Sonagazi Municipality Councillor and Feni Awami League leader Moksud Alam, 45, Jobayer Ahmed, 20, Alim examinee and Nusrat's batchmate, Jabed Hossain, 19, and English Department teacher, Absar Uddin, 35.

Police sources said six more persons had been arrested in connection with the case and are being questioned. They are: Kafayet Ullah Jony, Saidul Islam, Ariful Islam, Siraj’s niece, Umme Sultana Poppy, Nur Hossain, and Alauddin.

There are two cases in this incident. PBI is running one case and will soon take over another.

"We are on the hunt to arrest the rest of the people," Banaj said.

Nusrat was burned on April 6 and admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) burn unit that night with 80% burns. She succumbed to her injuries after battling death for five days.

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