ASK concerned over 'harassment of family by law enforcers'

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a legal aid and human rights organisation, yesterday expressed deep concern over the law enforcement agencies' alleged harassment and pressure on Sohagi Jahan Tonu's family to give statements they had prescribed.

The body of Tonu, an undergraduate student of Comilla Victoria College and a cultural activist, was found about 400 yards away from their house inside Comilla Cantonment on the night of March 20, according to the family.

Tonu's friends and colleagues in a theatre group in Comilla she was involved with claimed that she had been raped before being murdered.

“It is certainly necessary to take assistance from the family members for the sake of the investigation. But overnight interrogations and putting pressure is tantamount to harassment,” ASK said in a statement.

Pointing to media reports, ASK said although seven days have already passed, law enforcement agencies have yet to arrest any person involved in the incident.

“Amid this situation, law enforcement agencies have been quizzing Tonu's father, mother and family members throughout the night after picking them up from their village home at midnight,” said the statement.

“Such treatment of Tonu's family members is inhumane when it was necessary to identify those involved in the heinous killing that took place in a safe area like cantonment and bring them to book,” it reads.

The statement also said allegations were raised that during the quizzing, pressure was put to mention in the statement that Tonu had a relation with someone in the college, and that other irrelevant questions were asked repeatedly.

The release added that a two member team of ASK met Tonu's family on March 27 and while talking to them it seemed that the family members were panic stricken.

“We think law enforcement and respective authorities should take effective measures to arrest and bring to book those involved in the killing of Sohagi Jahan Tonu,” said ASK.

ASK demanded that the government and law enforcement agencies play an effective and responsible role in this regard.