Arrest Sagar-Runi killers by March 10
As three years past the murder of Sagar-Runi, police have not even "identified" the alleged killers, let alone arrest them and put them on trial, journalist leaders yesterday threatened to launch a nonstop protest.
If the government fails to arrest the killers by March 10, a nonstop demonstration will follow, Shakhawat Hossain Badsha, president of Dhaka Reporters Unity, told a rally on its premises.
Meherun Runi, senior reporter of ATN Bangla, and her husband Sagar Sarowar, news editor of Maasranga TV, were murdered in their apartment in the capital on February 11, 2012. The couple's only son Mahir Sarowar Megh, then only five, was in the apartment during the incident.
Around 200 journalists wore black ribbons and joined the call for justice. Megh was present but did not speak.
However, the boy with his maternal uncle Nowsher Alam Roman submitted a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission for steps to ensure justice.
Frustrated by the delay in arrest, Roman said they nearly gave up their hope for justice. "The law enforcement agencies give irresponsible statements when we asked for the progress of investigation," he said.
The murder triggered widespread outrage in the journalist community.
The frustration of the families, journalists and the general people grew when then home minister Shahara Khatun's assurance of the arrest of the killers in 48 hours proved hollow.
Addressing the rally, columnist Syed Abul Maksud said it was unprecedented in the world that people had to wage movement for getting justice for a murder.
"The killing of Sagar-Runi is mysterious. But the government's role is more enigmatic. The administration and government's activities for not to bringing the mastermind to book are condemnable," he said.
Thanking the prime minister for consoling and helping financially the victim families, DRU former president Shahed Chowdhury sought her intervention in bringing the culprits to book.
Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, president of a faction of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, Syed Abdal Ahmed, general secretary of Jatiya Press Club, and Rafiqul Islam Azad, vice president of DRU, also spoke.
After investigation by Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police and detectives, the Rapid Action Battalion started a further probe on April 18, 2012. Rab on Tuesday said it got reports of the DNA tests of the 21 suspects and evidential samples collected from the scene, but these were not matched. However, the reports confirmed the presence of two unknown men during the murder, the force claimed.
At least eight people including Rafiqul Islam, Bakul Miah, Masum Mintu, Kamrul Hasan alias Arun, Abu Sayeed, two security guards of the couple's house Palash Rudra Paul and Enamul Hoque and the couple's “family friend” Tanveer Rahman had been arrested but Tanveer got later freed on bail.