Family voices dismay over probe pace
A year has gone by since the murder of writer-blogger Avijit Roy near Amar Ekushey Book Fair, but police are yet to press charges despite making repeated claims they have identified several people involved.
Expressing dismay at the pace of investigation, Avijit's father Ajoy Roy yesterday told The Daily Star that he could see no visible progress in the case.
“Neither do I nor my family members have any reason to feel satisfied.”
He fears that the media focus and law enforcers' interest in the case would fizzle out before the criminals are caught and tried.
On the eve of Avijit's first death anniversary yesterday, Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) told journalists that police have identified three suspects who were at the crime scene during the murder.
Terming the murder well-planned, he said the investigation was taking time as those who committed the gruesome killing are “smart and educated”.
He added that police have obtained evidence of the involvement of six to seven identified people who abetted the murder by staying at the book fair and Bangla Academy premises at the time.
“They all are members of Ansarullah Bangla Team,” he claimed.
Ajoy, however, said, “If the criminals are really identified, they can be tried in absentia.”
The bereaved father also voiced his doubt whether the criminals, claimed to have been identified by the detectives, were still in the country.
On July 6 last year, Monirul Islam told journalists that detectives knew the faces and nicknames of seven members who belong to the banned Islamist outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team.
He had also claimed that the people involved were all educated.
Talking to journalists at the DMP Media Centre yesterday, he said DNA evidence from the crime scene was tested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but police were yet to receive the reports.
He said the reports would let them know who were present at the crime scene.
Monirul said two of the eight arrestees -- Shafiur Rahman Farabi and Mannan Rahi -- directly instigated the murder.
“The rest are suspects. A few of them might have been present at the crime scene,” he said.
Unidentified assailants killed Avijit Roy and badly wounded his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya on Dhaka University campus after the couple came out of the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela on February 26 last year.
The incident happened around 8:45pm on the pavement along Suhrawardy Udyan near TSC.
Two attackers hit Avijit, 42, with machetes from behind, making gaping holes in his head. They hacked his wife when she tried to save him. Bonya, 40, suffered injuries in the head and lost a finger.
A day after the murder, US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki in a statement said Washington was ready to assist the investigation if Bangladesh wanted help.
On March 5, a four-member FBI team arrived in Dhaka to assist the probe.
The Detective Branch of police on March 11 last year handed over the DNA evidence to the FBI. Earlier, a Dhaka court ordered the detectives to get a DNA test done by the US investigation agency.