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World

Web Desk
April 18, 2019

Girl set on fire in Bangladesh for reporting sexual harassment

World

Web Desk
Thu, Apr 18, 2019

A school girl in Bangladesh was doused with kerosene and set on fire two weeks after she reported an incident of sexual harassment against her headmaster.

As per a report published in BBC, Nusrat Jahan Rufi, 19, had filed a complaint against the headmaster of an Islamic school or madrassah after she recounted a sexual misconduct encounter that said took place on 27th March.

According to Nusrat, she was called by the headmaster in his office and touched inappropriately by him. Before things could go any further she ran out.

Contrary to what ensues in most cases, Nusrat decided to not just speak out against her harasser but also complain about him and report to the police regarding what had happened.

As the BBC report puts it: "At the local police station she [Nusrat] gave a statement. She should have been provided with a safe environment to recall her traumatic experiences. Instead she was filmed by the officer in charge on his phone as she described the ordeal."

The video shows a distressed Nusrat, trying to hide her face while the policeman is heard calling the complaint "no big deal."

Following Nusrat's complaint, the accused was arrested. It was then when things got worse for Nusrat, as a group of people took to the streets demanding his release.

 Nusrat's family became highly concerned about her security.

However, all hell broke loose when Nusrat decided to sit for her final exams on April 6.

According to a statement given by Nusrat, a fellow female student took her to the roof of the school, saying one of her friends was being beaten up. When Nusrat reached the rooftop four or five people, wearing burqas, surrounded her and allegedly pressured her to withdraw the case against the headmaster. When she refused, they set her on fire.

Luckily enough, Nusrat was rescued as the accused fled the scene and she was able to give a statement before she died.

When Nusrat was taken to a local hospital, doctors found burns covering 80% of her body. Unable to treat the burns, they sent her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

In the ambulance, fearing she might not survive, she recorded a statement on her brother's mobile phone.

"The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath," you can hear her say.

Nusrat's murder has instigated a series of protests across Bangladesh with the news of her death flooding the mainstream media.