Protests demanding justice for Nusrat Jahan Rafi -- a madrasa student of Feni who was brutally burnt, eventually leading to her death -- continued in different parts of the country yesterday.
People from different walks of life, including academicians, cultural activists and students, formed separate human chains and staged protest rallies demanding exemplary punishment for the murderers and their accomplices.
On Wednesday, 18-year-old Nusrat lost her battle for life, five days after she had been set on fire at an Alim [equivalent to HSC] exam hall in Feni -- an incident that sparked protests across the country.
A group of four unidentified persons allegedly carried out the heinous crime for refusing to withdraw a case against the principal of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa, Maulana Siraj Ud Doula, over sexual assault on her last month.
In Dhaka, civil society representatives at a human chain -- organised by Gourob 71, a civic platform -- in front of the National Museum, demanded proper trial of the Feni madrasa principal and his associates.
They also demanded that the government bring the officials and law enforcers, who neglected their duties regarding the killing, under trial immediately.
Speaking at the human chain, Dhaka University Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Muhammad Samad said not just the madrasa principal, all those who were involved in the murder should be given exemplary punishment so that no one dares to repeat such brutality.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote President Golam Kuddus said the authorities have to carry out legal proceedings of such murder cases through forming a separate tribunal, which should remain responsible to deliver verdict within a short deadline.
“If we cannot protect women of our country, whatever development we aim for will stumble in the end,” said Kuddus.
The participants of the human chain later brought out a procession that paraded towards the Central Shaheed Minar.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon, a group of students from different colleges and universities in the capital formed a human chain at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture -- demanding justice for Nusrat.
“Many of the girls in Feni could not pursue higher education as they felt insecure. We demand ensuring proper security for these girls,” said Rafi Ahmed, a law student of Dhaka University.
The protesters later brought out a procession from the spot, which moved through Shahbagh intersection.