Branka Djukić, a Serbian girl from Plav - Montenegro 1975 -

Period: SFR Yugoslavia

Region: Montenegro

Branka Djukić, a Serbian girl from Plav - Montenegro 1975

Branka Djukić (1956-1975) was a girl whom two Albanians from Kosovo tried to rape, and eventually killed. 

She was a student of the Grammar School in the place of Plav and only 19 years old at the moment of death.

The perpetrators were arrested and tried before the District Court in the city of Bijelo Polje. When the defendants’ lawyer requested acquittal, her father couldn’t wait for the final decision, so he took a gun, and killed one of the monsters.

In the justice of SFRY, this was one of the most popular and covered cases, but the media from other countries also reported about it.

It was not a small number of people who justified the decision of Branka’s father to take revenge for the murder of his daughter. 

The story of Branka's tragedy became a legend.



Branka Djukić of father Rade and mother Vida was born on 4th September 1956, in the village of Meteh, the town of Plav located in the southeast part of Montenegro towards Kosovo and Metohija.

Since the village is on the Prokletije mountain range, people have lived there very hard and too often had to use weapons to defend themselves from wolves, but also from guerillas and armies that wanted to control the area. Branka completed her elementary school in her village and entered Grammar School in the nearest town of Plav.

There, Branka completed three years with excellent results but decided to change school because she had problems with a professor of history. (Rumor has it that he tried to flirt with her).

She definitely decided to enroll at the Grammar School in the city of Peć (Kosovo) since it was nearer to her home than the town of Berane (Montenegro), and she also had cousins there.

Branka had three sisters- Slavica, Anka and Jovanka.



Early in the morning on 2nd September 1975, Branka Djukić went to Peć by bus to enroll at her new school. She finished all her obligations that day and went back home because that year the school in Peć didn’t start on time, but a few days later. She decided to spend a few more days with her family who during the summer most of the time spent in their mountain cottage keeping their livestock on grazing lands. 

Branka's parents, Rade and Vida Djukić

Branka came to the mountain Čakor (part of the Prokletije range) in the afternoon and then went by foot towards the places of Ječmište and Šabova glava. This was when two Albanians from Peć, who at that time took their livestock out on grassland, noticed the strong and courageous Branka and decided to follow her. She didn’t see them because they avoided the road. 

When Branka entered a deep conifer forest, the two furious men jumped in front of her trying to stop her. As they later stated before the court, Branka completely ignored them and kept going. Realizing that she was not afraid of their verbal threats, they tried to rape her, but being strong enough, she easily pushed them away. One of them took the gun out of his pants and threatened that he would kill her if she didn’t consent. When she heard those words, she approached, slapped, and spit him in the face. 

At that moment, he pulled the trigger and a bullet passed through Branka’s head. She gave her young life, demonstrating bravery and dignity. When they saw what they had done, the monsters went back and Branka remained laying on the road. 

By the end of the day, nobody passed by that road. As if this was not enough, it was Branka’s father Rade who first found his daughter in the morning the next day. At first glance, he didn’t believe what he saw because he thought that Branka was still in Peć. He thought it was just a bad dream and that he would wake up soon. 

Rade took his daughter in his hands, checked her pulse, realizing that she was not alive. First, he thought that a beast killed her. Unfortunately, those were beasts in the human body.



When the story about murder spread, the first question that arose was who could have done it. After the murder had been reported, the police immediately started an investigation. Soon, the suspects were arrested. It was discovered and confirmed that the perpetrators were two young Albanians from the village of Streoce near the city of Peć. They were arrested and taken to the district jail in Bijelo Polje.

The Djukić family and Rade’s home were in grief and mourn. The medical experts determined the absence of rape because Branka managed to defend herself. 



The funeral took place at the family Djukić’s graveyard, where a lot of people, neighbors, family, and friends gathered to say a final goodbye to heroic Branka. The principal of the Grammar school in Plav, Boro Mikić, gave an emotional speech about the girl who was being educated and prepared for the future by her teachers, which was stopped by criminals. 
Everybody was crying and mourning, while father Rade, mother Vida, sisters Slavica, Anka, Jovanka were completely overcome by grief. This was when father Rade started thinking about revenge.



Nothing suggested that the police and court officers knew about Rade’s plans, but they did conduct preventive measures to secure a safe trial. 

On the first day of the trial, everybody who came to the court was checked, especially Rade who, intentionally, came last into the court. During the trial, the prosecutor’s and Rade’s lawyers had an easy job because murderers admitted everything. They said that they didn’t repent, especially the one who pulled out the trigger. They didn’t even hide the intention regarding the rape and they justified their crime by the fact she was a Serb. Everybody in the court, except the murders’ families, was in shock. 

Memorial fountain devoted to Branka Djukić

The next day proved to be the best moment for revenge. While entering the court, again last, Rade furiously told a police officer who tried to check him: “Why are you bothering me? As if I don’t suffer enough, but I need to go through all of this again? Haven’t you seen yesterday that I didn’t have anything?”

The policeman stepped aside, and Rade came into the court with a revolver of 9mm caliber. He knew that judges would spend some time to consult regarding the final decision, so he decided to execute his plan at that moment. When judges went out for a consultation, everybody in the courtroom was said that all who wanted to hear the decision were not allowed to go outside because security officers were not able to perform another check. 

As almost everyone was smoking cigarettes in the court, the room soon became filled with smoke. A lot of people started coughing. Because of that, a woman called the guardian who protected the killer and said: “Don’t you see we are suffocating, open the window!”

The policeman nodded and approached the window to open it, and Rade knew that this was the perfect moment to finish trial before the final judgment. 



Rade took out his revolver, approached, and fired two bullets towards the murderer, first at his head, and second at his back. Medical expertise confirmed that both shots were deadly because one passed through the murderer’s brain, and another through his heart.

Another Albanian perpetrator of the crime saved himself by falling before the legs of other policemen, although Rade prepared one shot for him, too. Fathers and other family members of the criminals were standing still while the entire scene took place.

Policemen rushed towards Rade, but he immediately gave his revolver to one of them, lighted a cigarette, and said: “Be careful, there is one more bullet inside”.

Then he turned towards the other Albanian and said: “You are going to end like this, as well”.

The shots caused panic in the courtroom, and judges came in. Although the decision had been already made regarding the case which sentenced the murderer to 15, and his co-perpetrator to 13,5 years in prison, the decision wasn’t announced on that occasion.

The president of the court council stated that the trial against the murderer was canceled and that the punishment for another suspect would be announced later. The policemen were ordered to perform a detailed investigation regarding the preparation of murdering the suspect in the courtroom.



The act of revenge made the case widely popular. It was covered as the main story by all media and press in Serbia and Montenegro. 

The daily newspaper Večernje Novosti covered the story with the headline “Father punished the murderer of his daughter,” and similar headlines could be seen in Politika, Express Politika, and other daily newspapers. Journalists were competing who would describe the incident that happened in the court and Branka’s tragic death more emotionally and affectingly. For example, a journalist of the illustrated magazine Arena, Nikola Djordjević gave his own version of Rade’s ingenuity by which he outwitted guards, bringing the revolver into the court.

All around the ex-YU, people expressed words of support and justification of the revenge, but also people living in other countries, even from other continents, such as Australia, sent their support.  

Veljko Guberina, attorney

In numerous letters and telegrams, individuals and entire families approved the act of revenge, describing it as a sublime act that demonstrates the worthiness of parents’ love, and the price of defending dignity. Rade committed this act not because he didn’t have faith in the police and justice, but because the law protected older minors from the death sentence which the perpetrators deserved because of stating that they hadn’t felt guilty nor remorse for committing the crime only because Branka was a Serb.



Increasing public support led to the petition that 75,000 people from ex-YU and beyond signed. The petition requested freedom for Rade Djukić. Although it was obvious that the acquittance was excluded, the petition still had an impact on justice because the sentence of 8 years in prison was cut to 5 years, and later to 3 years after pardon had been accepted.

Rade was defended by famous attorneys from Belgrade, Veljko Guberina and Milan Vujin, who accepted the case without compensation. Rade Djukić later gave them gusle (Serb national instrument) specially made by Radota Živalj for the occasion when the Branka’s remains were transferred from Meteh to Spuž on 25th August 1991. Veljko Guberina attended the accompanying ceremony and said that the gusle was the precious gift that would always remind him of the time when he defended the dignity and pride of a brave father.

The mountain Čakor

At the location where Branka was killed, the monument was erected with the following inscription: “Here was killed Branka R. Djukić on 2nd September 1975.” 



In Belgrade’s municipality Rakovica, a street bears her name since 2019. A few years before, in the city of Smederevo, one street also was named after her.


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