Evidence of rape found, finally
Sohagi Jahan Tonu was raped before she was murdered.
This was revealed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) last night, almost two months after the killing of the 19-year-old college student.
The latest findings expose the flaws in the inquest and first autopsy reports which did not find any evidence of rape.
“In DNA tests, we have found evidence of rape,” Abdul Kahar Akand, special superintendent of CID, told The Daily Star around 10:45pm.
Samples including pieces of Tonu's clothes and her four teeth were tested at the CID laboratory in Dhaka.
“Examining Tonu's clothes, we have found four DNA samples of four separate persons,” Nazmul Karim Khan, superintendent of CID in Comilla-Noakhali Division, told The Daily Star.
"Of the four DNA samples, three are spermatozoa of three separate males," he said.
“The remaining one matches with Tonu's teeth.”
Nazmul Karim also said, "We have shortened our list of suspects and now we will see if the samples match with DNA of any suspect."
Tonu's father Yaar Hossain learnt the news from television.
“We have full respect for judiciary and hope the latest development would pave the way for getting justice,” he told The Daily Star in his immediate reaction.
Tonu, a Victoria College student and theatre activist, was found murdered in the Comilla Cantonment area on March 20. The killing sparked huge public outcry.
The first autopsy conducted on March 21 found no signs of rape and could not determine the cause of death.
A forensic expert, when told about the results of the DNA tests, said on condition of anonymity that the first autopsy should have found the rape evidence in this case.
Asked why the first autopsy didn't find any rape evidence, Dr Sharmin Sultana, who conducted it at Comilla Medical College, said she made the negative report as she did not find any assault marks in the genital area or sign of violence on the body.
The lecturer of forensic medicine replied in the negative when asked whether she made the report under any pressure.
The report says, “No sign of forceful intercourse before death was found. Victim was not pregnant. No definite opinion as to the death could be given.”
The police inquest too found no sign of injury or assault on any part of Tonu's body.
But talking to The Daily Star earlier, Yaar Hossain, an employee of Comilla Cantonment Board, said he had noticed the back of Tonu's head was smashed and there were injuries in her nose.
Following a court order, Tonu's body was exhumed and a three-member board conducted a second autopsy on March 30. The report is yet to be prepared.
On May 10, Tonu's mother Anwara Begum told the media that her daughter was killed as she refused to perform at a programme in Comilla Cantonment. She also named two army men as suspects.
Yaar Hossain last night told this newspaper that they gave the CID the names of two army personnel as suspects.
On Sunday, Director of Inter Service Public Relations Lt Col Mohammad Rashedul Hasan said Tonu was a member of army family and the army is extending all-out support to investigators to find out the culprits.
He said the investigators on several occasions interrogated two army personnel named by Tonu's mother.