After she stepped out of the jail on bail and announced her determination to walk all the way to ensure justice for former Major Sinha Md Rashed Khan murdered allegedly by some police officers, she found her fight grew bigger.
Now Shipra Debnath, a Stamford University student, has to seek justice for maligning her personal life in an orchestrated propaganda allegedly launched by some police officers.
To initiate the battle for justice, she went to Cox's Bazar Sadar Police Station on Wednesday to file a case against the smear campaign. But, police did not allow her to do so.
The campaign spread on the social media appears to be the latest assault on her image.
Shipra was arrested by the same police involved with Sinha killing from a resort in Cox's Bazar on charge of possessing "some drugs" as police claimed to have recovered two bottles of alcohol and some pieces of yaba from her room.
She was not with Sinha on the night of July 31 when he was killed on Marine Drive in Cox's Bazar. But after the killing, the police searched the resort where Sinha, Shipra and two other companions lodged during their stay at Cox's Bazar where they went to make travel documentaries.
The story of recovery of "alcohol" and "yaba" from her possession did not hold water. It was dubbed as a "cooked-up" story as police have done in many cases of extrajudicial killings to prove the victims are people with questionable characters.
She won the battle to secure bail in the drug case and returned home in Dhaka on August 9.
But it was beyond her imagination that she would have to fight another vicious campaign on social media invading the privacy of her personal life. Some of her pictures stored in her personal electronic devices were uploaded on social media.
How did policemen get her photographs?
Shipra made it clear. In a video message, she said police took two monitors, a laptop, a desktop, a camera, lenses, three hard drives, and phones from the resort. "There is no mention of any of them in the seizure list. I do not know how or to whom I will ask to return those things to us."
So, it is clear that the Teknaf police officers who seized Shipra's electronic devices launched the campaign by providing her pictures violating her privacy, a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution.
Satkhira Superintendent of Police (SP) Mostafijur Rahman and SP Mizanur Rahman Shelley of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), as she alleged, led the smear campaign on social media. She wanted to sue the duo and 148 other unknown people for spreading the propaganda against her.
Before the spread of propaganda on social media, Teknaf police that filed the drug case hurt her image in other ways too. In the first information report, the police used some objectionable words to assassin her character. She was, the FIR said, living with Sinha in the "same room."
So, her story exposes the unhealthy psychology of the Teknaf police. For this, Teknaf police alone should not be blamed. This is the psyche of the state machinery too – the existence of 148-year-long controversial legal provision that "LAWFULLY" allows a man accused of rape to question the character of his victim to defend himself during trial.
Section 155 (4) of the Evidence Act 1872 says, "... when a man is prosecuted for rape or an attempt to ravish, it may be shown that the prosecutrix [the rape victim] was of generally immoral character."
Sometimes, the words defence lawyers use to cross-examine the victims are unspeakable outside the court. The victims feel so humiliated that sometimes they keep their heads down. This is known to everyone.
In fear of further humiliation publicly, legal experts think many victims of rape and sexual abuse refrain from seeking justice. Thus, the law still favours an accused of rape, not the victim.
For long, it has been an international standard in criminal justice system that the character, morality and sexual history of a victim are largely irrelevant to a sex crime trial. Countries including the UK, the US and Australia have specific laws to shield victims from such humiliating situations during trial.
But, in Bangladesh, the situation is opposite to the international standard because of the controversial legal provision.
In 2015, Bangladesh Law Commission sent a recommendation to the law ministry for scrapping the provision. The then chief justice had also publicly denounced the controversial legal provision.
Five years down the line, the recommendation still remained ignored.
"We did not get any feedback" was the reply of law commission Chairman Justice Khairul Haque when he was asked about the fate of the recommendation. Justice Haque, also a former chief justice, declined to make further comment on the issue.
Law Minister Anisul Huq also thinks the controversial provision should be repealed. As this newspaper contacted him over telephone on Tuesday, he said some changes will be made in the Evidence Act, 1872. That controversial provision will be deleted during the amendments, he said.
In case of Shipra, police officers accused of killing Sinha tried to prove that Sinha and Shipra are people with questionable characters. This is an unwritten version of controversial section of the evidence law, but not made by the colonial regime.
Existence of such a legal provision is unwarranted in a civilised society. This system is an aspersion on the entire women community, not only rape victims seeking justice. It is against the state's all other progressive policies regarding women's economic and political empowerment.
Shipra is another victim of this monstrous system. There are numerous anecdotal evidences of such victims.
But only punishing a few sporadically may not cure the chronic disease. Again, if nobody is brought to the book, criminal minds may feel inspired.
What we need to kill the monster is reforms. Reforms are needed everywhere ranging from the legal system to the psyche of some branches of the state machinery, including the policing system.
Shakhawat Liton is the Deputy Executive Editor of The Business Standard.