Sixteen people have been arrested and charged in Bangladesh for the immolation death of a teenager in April, after she had reported sexual harassment.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi had filed a complaint of sexual harassment with local police and named her school principal as one of the accused, Banaj Kumar Muzumdar, Deputy Inspector General of the Police Bureau of Investigation, told CNN on Wednesday.
“She protested [against the harassment] and complained that the principal of the school was harassing her and she filed that case,” he explained.
The principal, Siraj Ud Doula, was subsequently arrested by police. He is suspected to have orchestrated her murder from prison, Muzumdar said. Doula allegedly contracted several people to kill the teenager and instructed the perpetrators to make her death look like a suicide, the official said.
On April 6, Rafi was lured out of the school classroom onto the roof where a group of men wearing burqas gagged and restrained her. They drenched her in kerosene before setting her on fire, Muzumdar said.
The incident took place in the town of Feni, about 100 miles southeast from the capital Dhaka. Rafi was able to make an official statement before succumbing to her injuries four days later.
Rafi’s statement prior to her death suggested four people – possibly boys – were behind the shocking attack – though she was unable to recognize them as they were hidden beneath the burqas, Muzumdar said.
CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this report.