Bangladeshi student burned to death after accusing headmaster of sexual harassment: report
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A 19-year-old Bangladeshi student who was showered with kerosene and lit on fire at her school days after she accused her headmaster of sexual harassment has died, the BBC reports.

The young woman, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, was from the Feni district of Bangladesh and had attended a local Islamic school. She reportedly filed a complaint against her headmaster for sexual assault in late March, claiming he inappropriately touched her in his office. 

According to the news agency, Rafi filed the complaint with local police on the same day of the assault, with help from her family. 


While giving police a statement that was recorded on an officer’s cell phone, Rafi reportedly attempted to shield her face with her hands. 

In footage seen by the BBC, the officer recording the statement reportedly told her to expose her face, telling her the complaint was "no big deal." 

The headmaster was reportedly arrested on the same day and video of Rafi’s statement was released to local media outlets shortly after. 

After going to police, Rafi became a target in her hometown. Locals reportedly blamed Rafi for the incident, and two male students at the school organized a protest demanding the headmaster's release.

Days later, on April 11, Rafi went to school to take her final exam. She was allegedly stopped by another student who told her that her friend was being attacked on the roof of their school. 

After reaching the roof, reports say Rafi was surrounded by five people who demanded she withdraw her complaint that the head teacher touched her inappropriately. After Rafi refused to do so, the others set her on fire. 

Police Bureau of Investigation chief Banaj Kumar Majumder told the BBC that Rafi's alleged attackers tried to make the incident look like a suicide by "holding her head down with his hands, so kerosene wasn't poured there and that's why her head wasn't burned.”

Rafi was rescued from the scene and taken to a local hospital, where she died shortly after. While in the ambulance, she recorded a statement identifying some of her attackers and addressing her sexual assault complaint. 

"The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath," she said, according to the report.

Her death sparked a wave of protests in Bangladesh and across social media from many who say they felt the tragedy shined a light on the vulnerability of victims of sexual harassment.

According to the BBC, the headmaster accused of sexual harassment is still in police custody, and 15 people have been arrested in connection with Rafi’s death.