Probe committee chief accused of partiality due to former involvement with madrasa
A committee formed by the Feni district administration to investigate the death of Nusrat Jahan Rafi has failed to submit its report — despite obtaining three extensions.
Nusrat—a student at Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil (Degree) Madrasa, and an Alim exam candidate—was set on fire on April 6 by a group of people allegedly acting on Principal Sirajuddaula’s instructions. Sirajuddaula had been sent to jail after Nusrat's mother filed a sexual harassment case on March 27.
On April 7, the district administration formed a three-member probe committee comprising Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Enamul Karim, UNO Sohel Parvez, and Secondary Education Officer Kazi Salim Ullah. They were tasked with submitting a probe report within three days by Deputy Commissioner Wahiduzzaman.
However, it has been reported that the investigation had barely started in the allotted time period. On April 10— the day Nusrat died of her burns at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital— Enamul asked for a seven day extension, which the committee again failed to meet. Subsequently, the committee asked for another four days, extending the deadline to April 21.
As of April 30, the committee has yet to file a report.
Sonagazi Municipality Councilor Sheikh Abdul Halim Mamun has accused the probe committee of bias, specifically by Enamul.
He said Enamul spoke up for Sirajuddaula when Nusrat first accused him.
Enamul’s objectivity in the probe is under question as he was formerly the president of the management committee of Sonagazi madrasa.
Sonagazi Municipality Mayor Rafiqul Islam Khokon echoed similar points, saying: “When Nusrat and her family tried to complain on March 27, the madrasa committee threatened them.”
Enamul claimed the probe committee completed the investigation, but has not been able to file the report due to various undisclosed reasons. He did not address questions regarding his partiality.
When asked, Deputy Commissioner Wahiduzzaman said Enamul was out of Feni for training, which had delayed the report. He said the report will be filed as soon as possible.
Nusrat's brother Mahmudul Hasan filed a case with Sonagazi police station naming eight people on April 8. On April 10, the case was transferred to the PBI. PBI has so far arrested 23 people in connection with the murder.