12:00 AM, December 12, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 12, 2012

Bishwajit Murder

Ghosh Para in tears

HC orders arrest of killers in 24 hours; Home boss, police differ on arrest

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Star Report

Moshura Ghosh Para in Shariatpur is full of sighs and cries as villagers and family members mourn Bishwajit Das.
Clutching their son's photographs and personal stuff, the parents fainted frequently. Just regaining consciousness, they began to wail again.
People kept coming to the house yesterday, but no one could console the family. They don't understand how a person could be hacked in broad daylight and why the murderers were at large even after everybody saw on TV the gruesome act.
Although police kept denying reports of arrests, Home Minister MK Alamgir said, "Eight so-called students were arrested so far in connection with Bishwajit murder. Some more will be arrested today [yesterday]."
The family members, still searching for answers why a youthful life met an untimely end, want no empty promises. They want justice and they want it now.
The High Court in the meantime yesterday ordered arresting the killers in 24 hours and issued a rule upon the authorities to explain in two weeks why they should not be directed to give adequate compensation to the family.
Bishwajit, 24, was hacked to death by 10 to 12 Chhatra League activists during an opposition blockade on Sunday.
The Daily Star has managed to identify five youths who directly took part in the murder. They are activists of Jagannath University Chhatra League, according to their political peers, general students and eyewitnesses who know them.
Photographers in other newspapers and video footages of television channels also have made it clear who the attackers were.
But during a discussion organised by Digital Bangladesh Forum at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday, the home minister claimed the people involved in the killing don't belong to Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), a student body backed by the ruling Awami League.
"We've come to know their identities. None of them were active members of BCL or were involved with BCL." The minister did not go into further details, but again said some of the attackers were expelled from the BCL.
Strangely, MK Alamgir also dubbed Bishwajit as a “so-called activist of BCL”. But nothing about Bishwajit's political affiliation was published in the media and the family kept saying he didn't belong to any political party.
“Bishwajit was not a member of any political party. He was quiet, always engrossed in tailoring job," cousin Robin Das told our correspondent at Bishwajit's house in Ghosh Para near Bhojeshwar Bazar.
Bishwajit's elder brother Uttam Das said, "My brother fell victim to cruelty of politics. What was the fault of my brother? We are helpless. We won't file any case. What we want is justice."
His father Alombho Das said Bishwajit was supposed to take him to Dhaka for treatment. "But he left the world before me. I am now worried about the safety of my other son who lives in Dhaka."
Yesterday, Monirul Islam, deputy commissioner of Detective Branch of police, told reporters at the DB office that police so far identified six people in connection with the killing but nobody was arrested.
"First, a case was filed accusing some unidentified persons but later police identified the six persons examining video footages and other information."
Asked about political link of the “identified” persons, he said, "We will be able to say the motive behind the killing and the political identity of the killers after arresting them."
Replying to another query, he said when the incident took place police were a little far away and immediately could not understand what was going on. Therefore, they could not prevent the murder.
Nazrul Islam, officer-in-charge of Sutrapur Police Station, echoed the view of Monirul. He said none was arrested till 4:00pm yesterday.
In response to a petition, an HC bench yesterday directed the inspector general of police to take measures, so that the culprits cannot escape arrest.
It also asked the IGP to alert officials at all the departure points, including Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, land ports and seaports about the court order, to stop the killers from fleeing.
The government will have to come up with an explanation tomorrow if it fails to nab the criminals within the stipulated time, the HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Farid Ahmed said.
The court came up with the order following the petition filed by Nazim Ahmed, the editor of weekly Shoptoporno, seeking its directive upon the government to arrest within 24 hours those involved in the killing.
The petition also sought an HC order on compensation to the family.
The Shoptoporno editor filed the petition after The Daily Star in a report yesterday named some BCL activists Rafiqul Islam, Noore Alam, Mahfuzur Rahman, Obhidul Quader and Emdadul Haque as the murderers.
Eunus Ali Akond appeared for the petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder represented the government.

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