A teenage student has been burned to death after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against her head teacher.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 19 from Feni, a small town 160km south of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, was called to the head teacher’s office at her Islamic school on March 27, before he allegedly touched her inappropriately, the BBC reported.
She fled in horror before taking the matter to local police – a move rarely considered by victims of sexual abuse over fears of judgement from family and the public.
Officers filmed her statement as she tried to cover her face, with the video later leaked to local media.
The headmaster was later arrested by police, however, strong support for the teacher began to emerge on the streets, with a protest arranged by two male students. It is understood some politicians attended.
Despite the resistance to her claims, Nusrat attended the school 11 days later on April 6 to sit an exam.
She was taken to the school by her brother but on their arrival he wasn’t allowed to enter the school.
"I tried to take my sister to school and tried to enter the premises, but I was stopped and wasn't allowed to enter," brother Mahmudul Hasan Noman told the BBC.
When she arrived she was told a friend of hers was being beaten on the school’s roof and was taken up there by a student.
According to a statement Nusrat made to police shortly before her death, she was met with four of five people wearing burqas who allegedly tried to get her to withdraw her claims against the headmaster.
Refusing to do so, she was allegedly set on fire.
She was rushed to hospital, but later died from her injuries.
Doctors in the hospital said she suffered burns to 80 per cent of her body.
While in the ambulance she reportedly recorded a message on her brother’s phone about the initial alleged assault.
"The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath," she said, according to the BBC.
Her death has since sparked outrage across Bangladesh, with protests and resistance online from the public.
Fifteen people have been arrested by police, with seven accused of being involved in her murder.
The headteacher remains in police custody.
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