Indian Student Burned to Death By Classmates for Reporting Sexual Harassment
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 19, reported a complaint with police in March
A Bangladeshi teenager, who reported sexual harassment by her own principal to officials, was doused with kerosene and burnt to death by fellow classmates, according to reports.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 19, reported a complaint with police in March after she alleged she was touched inappropriately by the head teacher at her Islamic school, according to BBC.
Her distraught testimony was filmed by police officers, which was later leaked after the teacher was arrested.
Rafi continued to attend classes despite the threats of violence against her.
She was later reportedly lured to a rooftop where she was surrounded by several burqa-clad individuals who demanded she retracts her police report.
When she refused, the student was doused in kerosene and set alight, according to the Police Bureau of Investigation Chief.
The student planned to make it look like suicide, but it failed gayer she was rescued.
According to Fox News: She suffered burns to more than 80 percent of her body, and died ten days later.
But while being rushed to hospital via ambulance and in one final act of courage, Rafi recorded a statement on her brother’s phone exposing some of her attackers as fellow students.
“The teacher touched me,” she reportedly said.
“I will fight this crime till my last breath.”
“When a woman tries to get justice for sexual harassment, she has to face a lot of harassment again,” Salma Ali, a human rights lawyer and former director of the Women Lawyers’ Association, told the BBC.
“The case lingers for years; there is shaming in society, a lack of willingness from the police to properly investigate the allegations. It leads the victim to give up on seeking justice.”
But given the wave of media attention and the outpouring of anger that has arisen in the wake of Rafi’s murder, some remain hopeful that at least some justice might be served.
The case is under investigation and authorities have already determined law enforcement negligence in the initial response to her complaints.
More than a dozen arrests reportedly have been made related to her murder.
At a news conference this week, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also took aim at the Islamic school for a long track record of ignoring past grievances against the headmaster’s behavior toward female students.
“If the administration from the district level to madrasa acted responsibly, then the incident would never have taken place,” noted Kazi Reazul Haque, the NHRC chairman.
“We questioned how (the head teacher) was appointed as the principal despite having this kind of past.”