In a horrifying incident, a jobless man set her 37-year-old wife, a primary school teacher, on fire in her sleep on Thursday.
According to neighbours, Fatema Khatun, a teacher of Mohishbathan Government Primary School, is now at the crossroads of life and death with 25 percent burn injuries at Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital.
Her sister Nurjahan Khatun said when Fatema, a mother of two, was asleep at her home in the city’s Bulonpur Ghoshpara area when her husband Sadikul Islam set fire to her by pouring kerosene over her body around 1 am and fled the scene.
Informed by the neighbours, Fatema’s family rescued her and took her to the hospital.
“Fatema suffered 25 per cent burn injuries in her face, chest and hands. Her respiratory tract has been affected…her condition is critical,” said Dr Afroza Najnin, the head of RMCH burn unit.
Nurjahan alleged that Sadikul has no job and he had been torturing Fatmea since their marriage 20 years ago.
“My sister didn’t disclose the repression by her husband and maintained the relationship for social reasons. Now we’ll file a complaint against Sadikul,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sadikul, son of former ward councilor Sazzad Hossain, could not be contacted over phone as he is on the run.
Majharul Islam, officer-in-charge of Rajpara police station, said he got information about such an incident and Sadikul has gone into hiding.
“Action will be taken once we receive a complaint,” the OC said.
In 2021, some 23 women and girl children fell victims to domestic violence (arson attacks) and 10 of them succumbed to their injuries, according to a recent report of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad on violence against women.