Sunday, April 14, 2024

Brutality beats the beast

A student of class eight, who became pregnant after she was raped by her 35-year-old neighbour in Comilla sadar, was set on fire by him in a bid to deny his paternity.
Abu Taleb set the victim, a student of Matankur Paschimpara High School in Comilla, afire Sunday evening, causing burns to as much as 76 per cent of her body.
Now in the seventh month of her pregnancy and in critical condition, she is fighting for life at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Narrating details of the incident, the victim said, “Taleb and my distant aunt Josna (also a neighbour) reached my home at 7:10pm and informed me that my father had an accident.”
She added her father had gone out for Esha prayers, leaving her alone at home.
As soon as she stepped out of her house, panic-stricken at the news of her father’s accident, Josna clamped her mouth shut with her hand while Taleb doused kerosene on her before lighting a match to her body. Josna and Taleb then quickly made their way out of the place.
The victim added that with the fire engulfing her within seconds, she fell unconscious. When she recovered consciousness, she found herself on a hospital bed.
Her mother, who was at the hospital, said she along with her four other children lives in Chittagong, where two of her daughters work at a garment factory. As the victim wished to continue her studies, she and her two working daughters sent money home to support her and her ailing father at their village home in Comilla.
She added that her daughter did not disclose her pregnancy to her and her husband from a sense of shame and they only came to learn of it at the hospital.
Taleb and Josna vented their anger on the school student through the former violating her as she had found Taleb in a compromising situation with Josna seven months earlier.
A few days later, both Taleb and Josna came to her house in the evening when her father was not there.
The victim said that suddenly Taleb had swooped on her and violated her with Josna’s help. While leaving the house they threatened to kill her if she revealed the incident to her father.
Three months after the incident she could realise she had become pregnant. When she pressed Taleb to acknowledge his paternity, he refused.
She added though she knew that Taleb was a father of two children, she wanted to be his second wife only to escape humiliation and social ostracism.
She also said that a few days before Taleb set her on fire she had warned Josna that she would disclose the incident to her mother and arrange an arbitration to settle the matter.
Mohammad Farhad, OC Comilla Sadar South Police Station, said Josna was arrested on Monday following the filing of a case in this regard. People of the locality had informed the police that Josna had extramarital relations with Taleb.
For her part, Josna denied any involvement in causing burn injuries to the victim, the OC added.

 

Via: The Daily Star

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