Feni girl on life support

Makes statement, says attackers asked her to withdraw allegation against principal

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:34, Apr 08,2019 | Updated: 01:59, Apr 09,2019


The 18-year-old madrassah girl, who was set on fire in Feni Saturday morning, was put on life support on Monday as her condition deteriorated, physicians at Dhaka Medical College Hospital said.
‘We took her at the operation theatre at about 9:30am today for dressing and at one point noticed a severe breathing problem in her, so she was put on life support,’ burn and plastic surgery unit honorary coordinator Samanta Lal Sen told New Age Monday evening.
Following the necessary rules, a formal statement was taken from the girl who was admitted to the burn unit with 75 per cent of her body burnt, a physician at the burn unit said.
He, however, did not agree to say what the victim said in her statement.
A source in the unit said that the victim gave her statement to a doctor in presence of a magistrate and a police official.
The girl, in the statement, said that four people, all covering themselves in burkas, including veils, and with gloves on their hands, got hold of her and one of them asked her to declare that the allegation she had brought against the madrassah principal was not true, the source added.
As she denied the command, the attackers tied her hands with a scarf, threw something at her and set fire to her, the source said quoting the statement.
The victim further said that she could not identify anyone of the attackers but heard one of them calling another Shampa.
The victim, an Alim examinee from Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrassah, was set ablaze after being doused with kerosene on Saturday when she went to the madrassah examination centre to sit for her Arabic first part exam.
As regards better treatment for the victim, Samanta Lal Sen, also a member of the nine-member medical board formed for her treatment, said that they were directed by the government high-up to send her to Singapore for better treatment.
He said Singapore hospitals generally do not accept such critical patients but they had been keeping communication with a hospital and have sent to it all the documents and updates of her condition.
‘The government will bear all her medical expenses and we will send her to Singapore immediately after we receive positive response from Singapore,’ he said.
The girl came under the arson attack nine days after her mother on March 28 lodged a case accusing the madrassah principal Siraj-ud-Doula of harassing the girl sexually on March 27.
Siraj was arrested on March 28 but the girl’s family said those pursuing her had been creating pressure on them to withdraw the case.
The victim after arriving at the burn unit Saturday afternoon told New Age that she was set on fire for protesting against the abuse by the principal.
The New Age correspondent in Feni, quoting police officials, reported that the victim’s brother Mahmudul Hasan on Monday lodged a case with Sonagazi police station under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act against unnamed people, including four donning burka and gloves.
Investigation officer of the case and Sonagazi police station inspector (investigation) Md Kamal Hossain said that they had earlier arrested Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrassah English department lecturer Nurul Absar and student Ariful Islam, who were sent to jail.
He said that they also arrested the madrassah guard Mohammad Mostafa, peon Nurul Amin and the principal’s close associates Saiful Islam, Alauddin and Jasim Uddin, who had organised a human chain and a rally at Sonagazi demanding withdrawal of the case against the principal and his immediate release.
Kamal, however, said that they could not identify any of the four people donning burkas, veils and gloves.
Women rights body Naripokkho in a statement on Monday protested against the incident and demanded a neutral investigation into the matter.
Such types of incidents are being committed frequently due to a culture of impunity, severe deterioration of law and order, influence of the rulers, irregularities, corruption and misrule in the country, the rights body added.

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