Probe itself a mystery
Saleha Monir has never visited her son and daughter-in-law's graves.
She is afraid that she would not bring herself to tell her son that the killers have not been punished.
“What will I tell the departed soul? That there is no justice for us?” the grieving mother of slain journalist Sagar said.
After the journalist couple Sagar and Runi were killed six years ago, Saleha thought she would not see the graves until the killers got caught. Now, the 66-year-old woman, who has difficulty walking due to age-related complications, wonders whether she would ever get to see the graves.
The cries of journalist associations and bereaved family members for justice fell on deaf ears in the last six years. Investigators do not even bother to tell the mother what, if anything, they had found.
“Justice is a far cry as I do not even know the names of the killers yet. I fear I would not get justice,” said Saleha.
Meherun Runi, senior reporter of private TV channel ATN Bangla, and her husband Sagar Sarowar, news editor of Maasranga TV, were murdered on February 11, 2012.
The couple's only child Mahir Sarowar Megh, who was only five at the time, was in the apartment when his parents were the murdered.
Immediately after the incident, then home minister Sahara Khatun said the killers would be arrested within 48 hours. Police officials also claimed to have made “significant progress” in the investigation at the time.
Whereas, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), which has been probing the case for five and a half years after the Detective Branch of police failed, has not made any progress in finding out the perpetrators.
“If the Rab could not find out the killers, they should either hand the case over to another agency or say that no one named Sagar-Runi were killed,” Saleha said.
Law enforcers, mainly Rab, has extended the time for submitting the progress report of the investigation 54 times, court sources said.
"It is very clear that the double murder case has been buried in a preplanned manner,” Runi's younger brother Nowsher Alam Roman said.
"The investigators meet us occasionally, but they never tell anything about the investigation."
The sluggish probe has frustrated the families and the journalist community.
Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, president of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), said, “We think it is one sort of negligence.”
It has tarnished the image of the country as people across the world related to journalism cite this case as an example of a culture of impunity, he said.
“It is necessary to bring the killers of Sagar-Runi and other journalists to book to ensure the safety of journalists.”
Ruhul Amin Gazi, former president of another faction of BFUJ, alleged that the administration is unwilling to arrest the killers.
“If they had the willingness, they, of course, would have been able to make some arrests. They have solved many mysterious murders in the past.
“Such killings will continue if the murderers go unpunished.”
Contacted, Mufti Mahmud Khan, Rab's legal and media wing director, simply said the investigation was on-going.