The plot was drawn up on 4 April. They bought kerosene the next day to set fire to Nusrat on 6 April. There were five of them. Nusrat was tricked into going to the roof of the madrasa where the perpetrators were waiting.
They caught her, tied up her legs, doused her with kerosene and set her on fire. The five miscreants took only five minutes to do all, following the orders of the Sonagazi Senior Fazil Madrasa principal, Siraj Ud Doula.
Details of the attack were revealed by two of the accused involved in the murder of Nusrat, the madrasa student who was set afire for filing a case against the principal for sexual abuse.
The two accused who made these confessional statements were Shahadat Hossain and Nur Uddin. They revealed all details about what had happened since 27 March, the day Nusrat was abused till 6 April, the day she was set on fire.
The perpetrators informed the upazila Awami League president Ruhul Amin and ward councillor Maksud Alam about the attack. They were allegedly to take care of police investigations. Notably, Maksud Alam is in jail now for the Nusrat murder.
It was also revealed that a certain private bank official, Kefayet Ullah, funded a 20-member committee formed to release the principal after he was arrested for sexual harassment.
As many as 25 to 26 people were involved in the incident, according to police, lawyers and court. The two accused, however, were produced before the court of senior judicial magistrate Zakir Hossain of Feni on Sunday. Police recorded their confessions till midnight. Shahadat’s deposition was of 25 pages while Nur Uddin gave a 30-page statement.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi was attacked on 6 April and she succumbed to her injuries at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College on 10 April.
Police arrested 13 accused so far. Four of the five directly involved in the attack were caught by the police. Only Kamrun Nahar Moni is on run.
The police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) confirmed that Shahadat Hossain alias Shamim, Jobair Ahmed, Jabed Hossain, Umme Sultana alias Poppy alias Tuhin and Kamrun Nahar alias Moni took part directly in the killing of Nusrat. Four people were arrested except Moni. Among them, Shahadat Hossain gave statement under section 164 at Feni court.
Shahadat Hossain claimed to be the BCL president of madrasa committee unit. However, the general secretary of the upazila Awami League Rafiqul Islam said there is no committee of BCL in the madrasa.
Principal Siraj is a rukon of Jamat e Islami, he also said.
Nusrat’s perpetrators held a meeting on 4 April night. Besides Shahadat, the meeting was attended by Nur Uddin, Hafiz Abdul Kader, Jabed, Jobayer, Mohiuddin Shakil, Shamim (2), Imran, Iftekhar Hossain Rana and Sharif. Shahadat, Nur Uddin and Quader presented the plan for killing. Shahadat had an old grudge against Nusrat as she rejected his overtures in the past.
It was decided that she would be killed on 5 April, the day of the Arabic first paper exam, and this would be passed off as suicide.
Maksud and Ruhul Amin were to take care of the police. They also planned the details of everyone's role in the murder.
In the statement, Shamim said, "I told councilor Maksud, Afsar sir, Selim Sir, huzoor's (principal) two sons Nisu and Adnan, Moni and Popy about the matter as per the plan. We were in a room in the second floor.”
Popy tricked Nusrat into coming to the roof and the other four grabbed her and set her on fire. All three male attackers were in burkha as well. Moni and Popy entered the exam hall while Jabed, Shamim and Jobair managed to run away from the spot.
Shamim said that after the incident, he told Ruhul Amin and fled to Mymensingh and later was arrested in Muktagachha.
Ruhul Amin claimed to be the vice-president of the madrasa management committee. He also claimed that he handed the principal to the police after the sex abuse charge against him.
A bank official provided the money to form a committee to release the principal in the case of molestation. Apart from this, the principal’s two sons also knew about the plans.
* This report appeared in Bangla in Prothom Alo print edition and has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat