Bangladeshi police have arrested four people, including a Muslim cleric, as part of an investigation into the death of a teenage girl who died after a public lashing.
Hena Begum was accused of engaging in an adulterous affair with a married man and was punished under the harsh codes of Islamic Sharia law.
The girl died after being taken to hospital.
Reportedly, a village court of elders in the district of Shariatpur issued a fatwa against the girl and passed a sentence of eighty lashes. (Other sources say she was lashed up to 100 times).
In addition, it is believed that relatives of the married man also beat the girl up just prior to the village court’s decree.
According to The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, the four arrested were “one of the clerics (who sat on the village court) and three villagers including the wife of the man who Hena Begum had an illicit relationship with.”
The girl has been reported to have been either 14 or 15 years of age.
Her family members said she was admitted to a hospital after the incident and she died six days later,” district superintendent of police, AKM Shahidur Rahman, told the BBC. “The village elders also asked the girl's father to pay a fine of about [$700].
Rahman added that it has not been determined if the girl died due injuries incurred by the lashing sentence or not.
We are still waiting for the post-mortem report. In the meantime, we are also looking for another 14 people including a teacher from a local madrassa in connection with this Rahman said.
While Bangladesh is an overwhelmingly Muslin country, its people have traditionally adhered to a moderate form of Islam. However, fundamentalism is clearly on the emergence.
Dorbesh Khan, the father of Hena Begum, told the BBC: What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice. If it had been a proper court then my daughter would not have died.