Taqi Murder Charge Sheet: Years of wait for ‘any day’
Within a year of the murder of Narayanganj schoolboy Taqi, Rapid Action Battalion claimed it cracked the case, finding involvement of ex-Jatiya Party MP's son Ajmeri Osman and his 10 associates.
The elite force said the final charge sheet could be submitted any day.
Since then six years have passed but Rab is yet to submit the probe report for some "unknown" reasons.
Today is the seventh death anniversary of Tanwir Mohammed Taqi, the son of Rafiur Rabbi, a renowned cultural activist in Narayanganj.
There has been no clear answer from any authorities on what is holding the investigators back from submitting the report. For the last few years, the elite force has only one thing to say: "Investigation is going on."
Seventeen-year-old Taqi went missing after he had left home for Sudhijan Pathagar, a library, around 4:00pm on March 6, 2013.
His A-level results were out the next day and he emerged as the highest scorer in the world in physics by obtaining 297 out of 300. In chemistry, he got 294 out of 300, the highest score to be obtained in the subject by anyone in the country. He was a student of ABC International School.
Taqi's body was found floating in the Shitalakhya river on the morning of March 8.
Rafiur filed a murder case with Narayanganj Kotwali Police Station the same day. He also submitted a complaint to the superintendent of police on March 18, accusing seven people by name, including Awami League MP Shamim Osman, and 8-10 unnamed others.
The home ministry on June 20, 2013 handed over the case to Rab upon a High Court order following an appeal by Rabbi.
On August 7 in 2013, the Rab raided Ajmeri's "Winner Fashion" office on Allama Iqbal Road in the town and seized a pair of blood-stained jeans, a pistol butt and equipment for yaba consumption. Officials also found numerous bullet marks on the walls, almirah and sofa.
This "Winner Fashion" was one of the six "torture cells" detected by Taqi Mancha, a platform working to curb crimes in Narayanganj, in 2014. Rafiur alleged that Taqi was tortured to death inside the office.
Ajmeri is the son of late Jatiya Party MP Nasim Osman and nephew of Shamim Osman.
A draft of the investigation report was leaked before the first death anniversary of Taqi on March 6, 2014. Different newspapers ran stories based on the draft with quotes from top-ranking Rab officials about the involvement of around a dozen people in the murder.
The then Rab Additional Director General Col Ziaul Ahsan in March 2014 told the media that they found involvement of Ajmeri Osman and his 10 associates in Taqi murder.
Others involved as mentioned in the draft charge-sheet are Rajib, Kalam Shikder, Mamun, Apu, Kajol, Shipon, Jamshed Hossain, Yusuf Hossain Liton, Sultan Shawkat alias Bhromor and Tayebuddin alias Jacky.
He had also said that the charge sheet would be submitted any day.
That day never came.
Law enforcers so far arrested five people -- Yusuf Hossain Liton, Rifat, Sultan Shawkat, Tayebuddin and Simanta -- in connection with the murder. Two of them -- Yousuf and Sultan -- gave confessional statements before the magistrate.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Taqi's father Rafiur Rabbi, who took part in countless demonstrations and public events to talk about his grievances, said it is not a failure of the investigators but the political influence which is stalling the probe.
"The law enforcement agencies have already unearthed who were the killers … they prepared the chargesheet within a year…As we saw the accused were family members of an influential political leader in Narayanganj, the investigation came to a halt," Rabbi added.
"The Rab told media why, where, when and how the killing took place and presented a draft charge-sheet in March 2014 which was supposed to be submitted in court," Rabbi said, adding that six years have passed by, but the Rab is yet to submit it.
"The prime minister, in parliament, said she stands by Osman's family…Since then the investigation went into a stalemate," Rabbi said.
"It's now in the prime minister's hand. The probe report would not come to light if the prime minister doesn't give any instruction to do so. Taqi would get justice if the PM wants," Rabbi said.
Contacted, Rab-11 Commanding Officer Lt Col Imran Ullah Sarkar could not specifically say when the probe report would be submitted before the court.
"I joined Rab-11 recently and by this time, I saw a number of investigation officers were changed, causing a delay in the investigation," the Rab commander said, adding that they had resumed the enquiry.
He said they were hoping to complete the probe "very soon".
Asked about Rab's draft chargesheet of 2014, the Rab official said he could not say anything about this as he was not stationed at Rab-11 at that time.
The Rab official claimed that the investigation was going on the right track and there was "no pressure" on them.
Prosecution lawyer Pradip Ghosh Babu said they wrote to the court on January 20 so that it orders the investigation officer to submit report as soon as possible, but the court didn't give any such deadline, he said, adding that the next hearing is scheduled for March 9, he said.
"If they [Rab] had submitted the probe report before, the trial would have been completed by now. Basically, Rab has been doing nothing since 2014," he added.
Narayanganj City Corporation Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy said there are some recent examples of solving sensational cases.
"Justice for Taqi is much needed," she said.
Halim Azad, member secretary of Taqi Mancha and former president of Narayanganj Press Club, said, "The whole country knows who are the killers. Yet there is no justice. It is very unfortunate that the victim's family didn't get justice even after seven years of countless protests."