Body exhumed, fresh autopsy done
Police yesterday exhumed the body of Sohagi Jahan Tonu for a fresh autopsy, with various law enforcement agencies still struggling to identify a single suspect in her murder.
“We will arrest the suspect based on specific information and evidence,” said Shah Abid Hossain, superintendent of Comilla police.
“I have already told journalists that we would not concoct any story and claim credit for solving the murder case,” he told reporters when asked about the slow progress in the investigation.
Talking to the BBC Bangla later in the day, he said Tonu might have been raped before being killed. “Considering the circumstantial evidence and symptoms found on the body, it seems Tonu was raped.”
About the place of the crime, he told the British news service, “The body was only dumped there [inside the cantonment area]. We are sure about it.”
To help police exhume the body, forensic experts from the Criminal Investigation Department were called in. The CID team collected evidence for its own forensic investigations.
In another development yesterday, the probe into the murder of the 19-year-old college girl was handed over to the CID from the Detective Branch of police.
“The CID will take over the investigation from tomorrow [today],” the SP said.
Initially, police were investigating the March 20 murder, but later the case was handed over to the Detective Branch of police.
The outgoing investigating officer prepared the inquest report of the body exhumed under the supervision of UNO Lutfun Nahar.
The body was dug out from the grave in Tonu's village home at Mirzapur of Muradnagar in Comilla around 11:30am.
A team of forensic experts at Comilla Medical College Hospital did the second autopsy, but its findings were not immediately available.
The body was reburied later in the evening.
The fresh autopsy came nine days after the first post mortem, whose findings are yet to be made public.
This raised questions over the need for a second autopsy and enraged locals and students in the village home of the history student of Comilla Victoria College.
Slogans rocked the area as a lone grave digger started exhuming the body, with several hundred students and locals looking on. Around the same time, hundreds of students joined their hands to form human chains in front of different educational institutions.
Tonu's bloodied body was found in a bush inside the Comilla Cantonment on the night of March 20. Her father filed a murder case the next day against unnamed persons.
Her fellow students alleged that she was raped before being killed, but police are waiting for the autopsy report for confirmation.
Meanwhile, Tonu's father Yaar Hossain, 55, and his elder son Nazmul Hossain could meet their family members in the village home for the first time since they had allegedly been forced to leave the village for their cantonment residence last week.
Yaar is an office assistant at the Comilla Cantonment Board. On March 25, the cantonment board police station Officer-in-charge Monirul Islam brought Yaar and Nazmul to the cantonment around 7:00pm citing “official reasons”.
Five hours later, members of Rab-11 went to the village to pick up Tonu's mother, Anwara Begum.
“She [Anwara] did not want to go until we forced her to, upon learning from the Rab members that five to six suspects were arrested and that they needed full support from the family to bring the killers to book,” said Alal Hossain, Yaar's brother.
Anwara was kept at the Rab-11 office before she was taken to the cantonment board office around 5:00am next day. No suspect was shown to her, alleged Alal.
“We have not seen Anwara since ... I believe they were tricked into going to their cantonment home so that they could be kept under watch,” he added.
Police have so far quizzed Tonu's parents and some relatives, raising doubts over the investigation.
However, parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury told reporters in Sylhet yesterday that law enforcers would find Tonu's killer(s) and make sure that the perpetrator(s) get maximum punishment.
PROTEST IN DHAKA
Students' protests continued across the capital demanding justice for Tonu.
At a press conference at the Dhaka University, general students demanded exemplary punishment to the murderer(s).
They formed a human chain in front of the Social Science building and brought out a procession on the campus.
Besides, students of State University of Bangladesh demonstrated for an hour before their Dhanmondi campus around noon.
Also yesterday, Gonojagoron Mancha announced that they would hold a “citizens rally” across the country and also start a month-long signature campaign from tomorrow.
Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of the platform, announced the programme from a rally organised by students of Dhaka City College at Shahbagh.
Dhaka University Teachers' Association in a press release condemned Tonu's killing and demanded exemplary punishment of the killer(s) through a fair trial.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) held a token hunger strike in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding justice for Tonu and also the rape and killing of other women.