Nine long years have passed but justice still eludes Asma Kibria. Her hopes for seeing punished the mastermind behind the killing of her husband Shah AMS Kibria, Awami League leader and former finance minister, seem to be fading away.
She is frustrated that there has been no significant progress in the Kibria murder case though her husband's party, the AL, has been in power for more than five years.
"His [Kibria] party has come to power again. At first, [when the AL came to power in 2008] we thought that the trial would be held for sure. But we were disappointed," Asma said in an interview with Channel 24, a private TV station, yesterday.
Kibria's family observed his ninth death anniversary yesterday with a sense of frustration at the long delay in getting justice.
The AL leader along with four others was killed in a grenade attack on a rally at Baidyer Bazar in Habiganj on January 27, 2005.
"They [the AL] are in power for the second consecutive term. Let's see whether they do anything … they can do it [complete the trial] if they want. But I don't know whether they will or not," Asma said.
"Till now, we have not seen any signs that make us hopeful," she said.
The day after the grenade attack, Abdul Mazid Khan, organising secretary of Habiganj district AL, filed two cases -- one for murder and the other under the Explosive Substances Act -- with Habiganj Sadar Police Station.
But the trial in the two cases has not begun even nine years after the filing of the cases.
Meherunnesa Parul, assistant superintendent of police of the Criminal Investigation Department, was appointed Investigation officer (IO) in the cases in January 2012, but she is yet to submit supplementary charge sheets.
Parul told journalists in January last year that she would submit those by March that year as the probe was at its final stage.
While visiting Sylhet on September 18 last year, immediate past home minister MK Alamgir said the charge sheets would be submitted soon with the names of the mastermind behind the Kibria killing.
During the BNP-led government's tenure in 2005, the home ministry assigned Munshi Atiqur Rahman of the CID as the IO in the two cases.
He submitted a charge sheet on March 20, 2005, accusing 10 people, including local BNP activists, of involvement in the attack.
Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Biplab Goswami accepted the charge sheet but couldn't start trial as the complainant filed a no confidence petition with the court.
As the tribunal rejected the petition, the complainant sought time for lodging a petition with the High Court for a stay on the proceedings. And the tribunal granted the petitioner 10 days.
Upon an appeal by the complainant, the HC on May 5, 2006 stayed the proceedings.
Following another appeal by the complainant, the Sylhet tribunal on May 14, 2006 ordered further probe into the cases.
And in line with that order, the CID appointed Assistant Superintendent of Police Rafiqul Islam as the new IO.
Rafiqul submitted a supplementary charge sheet to a Habiganj magistrate's court on June 20, 2011, naming 14 more people, including Lutfozzaman Babar, ex-state minister for home, and Mufti Abdul Hannan, chief of banned militant outfit Huji, as accused in the cases.
A week later, Asma filed a petition with the Habiganj court expressing no confidence in the investigation. The court then forwarded the case documents and the petition to the Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal.
Following two petitions by Asma and the tribunal prosecutor, tribunal Judge Dilip Kumar Debnath on January 5, 2012 ordered the CID to carry out further probe by a senior officer.