‘4 wearing headscarf, burqa set me on fire’

Sonagazi arson victim narrates at DMCH
Madrasa student on life support
Photo: Collected

The Feni madrasa student, who was set on fire on Saturday, has said that a total of four people wearing headscarf, burqa and hand socks set her on fire.

The victim narrated the incident to the doctors of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after she was admitted to the burn unit of the hospital yesterday.

While talking to The Daily Star, a doctor of the burn unit seeking anonymity, confirmed the statement made by the victim, who is now on life support at the hospital.

She was put on life support around 12noon today after her condition deteriorated further, said Dr Samanta Lal Sen, co-ordinator of the burn unit.

Quoting the victim, the doctor said Maulana Siraj Ud Doula, the principal of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa, had been harassing the victim in many ways for a long time.

The principal used to offer question papers to students before examinations aiming to fulfill his evil desire, the victim told the doctors.

“He [the principal] used to harass female students if they denied his offer and he misconducted with the victim on March 27, but she did not inform the matter to her family immediately,” the source said quoting the victim.  

Later, the victim informed the matter to her family members and other teachers of the madrasa and lodged a case against the principal.

Since then, the victim used to go to the madrasa with her brother, but her brother was barred from entering her exam centre on the day the cruelty took place, she narrated.  

After entering the exam centre on April 6, a total of four unidentified people took her to the roof top of the three-storey administrative building of the madrasa and asked her to withdraw the case.

One of them was talking with her, forcing her to withdraw the case, the victim said.

At one stage, they [the four people] tied her hands with scarf and set her on fire by pouring kerosene, the doctor said quoting the victim.

Meanwhile, the DMCH authorities formed a nine-member medical board for accelerating treatment of the 18-year-old girl, now at the intensive care unit (ICU) with 75 percent burns.

Doctors will go for a surgery if her condition improves, Dr Samanta Lal said yesterday evening.

5 held over the brutality  

Police arrested Afsar Uddin, 33, a teacher of English department of the madrasa, and Ariful Islam, 22, an Alim examinee, in connection with case.

Besides, police also detained Md Mostafa, 38, nightguard of the madrasa and office assistants Nurul Amin, 50, Alauddin, 25, Saidul Islam 30, and Jasim Uddin, 30, for interrogation.

Later, Afsar and Ariful were sent to jail after police produced them before a local court showing them accused in the case.

What happened?

The student came under attack allegedly for refusing to withdraw a case filed against madrasa principal Maulana Siraj Ud Doula for sexually harassing her late last month.

Some four unidentified people allegedly took her to the roof of the three-storey administrative building of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa Saturday morning, saying a friend of hers was being assaulted there.

The girl was an Alim (equivalent to HSC) examinee and a few minutes were left before the start of Arabic first paper test at 10:00am.

“They asked her to withdraw the case against principal Maulana Siraj Ud Doula. As she would not budge, one of them poured kerosene on her from a glass and set her ablaze,” the victim's brother told The Daily Star, quoting her.



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