A rape victim who tried to commit suicide following the sexual assault ultimately lost her battle for life at Rangpur Medical College Hospital early morning yesterday.
The 18-year old girl sustained severe burn injuries after she set herself on fire ten days ago on January 22 -- two days after she was raped by a neighbour.
Relatives brought the girl -- from Pashchim Parul village of Parul union under Pirgachha upazila in Rangpur district -- to the hospital the same day.
Sayeed Abu Taleb, duty doctor at the surgery unit of the hospital said the girl had suffered 40 per cent burns on her body. He advised the family to take her to the burn unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital but they could not afford to do so.
Victim's father said her daughter was apprehended on her way to an outdoor toilet at around 8:00 pm on January 20.
“Lebu Miah, son of neighbour Sabial Miah, was waiting for her in the dark and forcibly dragged her to a nearby field and raped her,” he said.
“I was not at home that night and my wife – stepmother of the victim – was also away at her father's house. Lebu made use of our absence,” he added.
Ekabbor said his daughter did not reveal the attack to anyone until two days later when she attempted to take her own life.
He said Lebu had not only raped his daughter but also threatened to kill her if she disclosed the matter to anyone.
Meanwhile, two police sub-inspectors visited the victim at Rangpur Medical College Hospital and later her home on January 22 to investigate the matter.
Officer-in-charge of Pirergachha police station Bazlur Rashid told this correspondent that police are still looking for Lebu Miah who remains absconding since the girl was brought to the hospital.
The victim's brother lodged a case with Pirgachha police station on Jan 22 accusing Lebu Miah of the assault.
He said not only had the police failed to arrest Lebu Miah in these 10 days but that Mia's family has been threatening to kill him unless he withdraws the case.
Her body was taken to the hospital morgue for autopsy before being handed over to the family.