The 18-year-old who suffered 80% burns died on Wednesday after battling five days for life at DMCH
A video clip has emerged on social media exposing police reluctance in helping Nusrat Jahan Rafi when she cried and desperately sought law enforcers’ assistance after bringing in sexual assault charges against Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa Principal Sirajuddaula.
The 18-year-old girl went to police station and urged the now withdrawn OC of Sonagazi model police station Moazzem Hossain, who recorded the video, to take action against Sirajuddaula, who has harassed her several times both mentally and sexually, to ensure her safety.
But Moazzem, whose voice was heard in the video, appeared unconcerned to the complaints and said the incident was nothing major. He also asked Nusrat to go home and assured her of taking steps in accordance with her written complaint.
But no action was taken against Sirajuddaula, who reportedly went on to instigate his followers into attacking Alim examinee Nusrat on April 6.
On Wednesday, Moazzem who was withdrawn from his post and transferred to Armed Police Battalion following allegations that he neglected the girl’s complaints.
Awami League on Thursday also expelled Kazirbag union unit General Secretary and Union Parishad Chairman Kazi Bulbul Sohag for representing Sirajuddoula in court in the rape attempt case, against the latter, filed by Nusrat’s family.
The ruling party’s Feni district unit President Abdur Rahaman said they expelled Bulbul, who is also an advocate, following the central committee’s directive for violating party rules.
According to sources, the video was recorded in the OC’s room when the girl came to his office on March 27, after she was sexually harassed by Sirajuddaula. Sonagazi Municipality Mayor Rafiqul Islam Khokon, also general secretary of Sonagazi Awami League unit, had brought her there.
Nusrat was set on fire by four burqa-clad unidentified assailants on the rooftop of the madrasa on April 6 after she refused to withdraw the rape attempt case against Sirajuddaula.
She died on Wednesday at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, after battling to survive from grievous 80% burn injuries since last Saturday.
Her family members said they have been receiving threats from the principal’s supporters since the filling of the case. They alleged Sirajuddaula wanted revenge and had his followers burn her alive.
The five-minute-eleven-second-long video clip started in the middle of the conversation between OC Moazzem and Nusrat where she was asked to describe what happened with her. The girl broke into tears while talking and seeking police action.
Nusrat said it was not the first time the principal had tried to sexually harass her.
In her first year, she said, the principal had summoned her to his office. Sirajuddaula had asked her to uncover her face after Nusrat, who was wearing burqa and niqab, went to his room.
“I refused. Then he said he liked me. I was surprised to hear that. I told him, ‘What are you saying? You are like my father, you are my teacher. I felt really bad,” Nusrat, who was sitting for the ongoing Alim examinations before her death, said in the clip.
Even after that incident, Nusrat told the OC, Sirajuddaula had her come to his office room several other times and approached with ill intension when she was an 11th grader. She said she had notified her teachers about that problem, but they asked her to keep mum.
The principal had sent an office assistant named Nur Alam to Nusrat’s class on March 26, when the students were busy with an Independence Day program, and had him take her to his office. Nusrat brought along several of her female classmates, but they were not allowed to enter the room.
When Nur was called inside after some time, he said he found the girl sitting on the floor. Nusrat broke down to tears after he brought her out to her friends waiting outside.
Several days before, some unidentified youths had also assaulted Nusrat and spread a rumour that she was beaten because she was in a romantic relationship with someone.
Principal Sirajuddaula apparently used that opportunity and threatened to take action against her for being involved romantically with someone despite being a madrasa student. He also used the chance to propose her to have an illicit affair. But Nusrat refused again.
‘I will live and punish him’
Meanwhile, police have found a letter Nusrat wrote on her class notebook, before she was attacked and set on fire, describing how the principal sexually assaulted her and how her classmates’ attendance in a program demanding Sirajuddaula’s release from jail had hurt her.
The letter were collected from her home at Uttar Charchandia as evidence on Wednesday in the case filed over the attack, said Sonagazi police OC (Investigation) Kamal Hossain.
The letter was apparently written in three pages, but one of them was found missing.
Nusrat, in the letter addressed to two of her friends, wrote that Principal Sirajuddaula wanted to have sex with her saying he would give her the question papers for the Alim exams.
However, she wrote: “I will fight till my last breath. I made a mistake by trying to kill myself first, but I won’t do that again. Killing myself will mean I lost. I won’t die, I will live. I will punish him [Sirajuddaula].
“I will punish the one who hurt me in a way that others will learn a lesson. God willing, I will give him the maximum punishment possible.”
Nusrat also wrote how she was hurt by the obscene comments made by her friends after she survived Sirajuddaula’s sexual assault.