HR boss sees all the bad signs
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Dr Mizanur Rahman yesterday said the spot, where Tonu's body had been found, looked unusually clean, suggesting that some evidence might have been tampered with.
“A spot visit might give an impression that some evidence might have been tampered with,” he said while exchanging views with local journalists at Comilla Circuit House after he and his team visited the place in the cantonment area.
If something like that has happened, the persons responsible for this should be brought to justice, he said, adding, “It's against the evidence act.
“It appeared that there has been intervention in the place of occurrence [where the body was found] which now looked like a fresh grave.
“We had seen photos of the place of occurrence which was a grassy area in a bush.”
He feared that if the evidence had got distorted, the investigation might get difficult.
Earlier, the NHRC chief talked to the parents of Tonu and exchanged views with Comilla deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and army officials.
Contacted by The Daily Star, Col Ziaul Ahsan, additional director general (operations) of Rapid Action Battalion, confirmed that the elite force dug up the spot for collecting soil.
“There is nothing wrong in collecting evidence from a place where a crime has taken place and police did not cordon off the area yet,” said Ziaul Ahsan.
The Rab, however, was never officially assigned to probe the murder. The case has been transferred to the CID from the Detective Branch of Comilla police.
The NHRC boss also talked about a reported search of the cantonment house of Tonu when her family members were away for the burial.
The army collected some everyday items, including a diary of Tonu, during the search, according to the family members. Police say the diary was later handed over to them as evidence.
Mizanur Rahman also observed that police are not being allowed to collect evidence as the crime scene is in the cantonment area. Instead, the army first collect evidence and then hand it over to police by making a list.
“Should we regard this step made from the position of being ultracautious?” he asked.
“Sometimes ultracautiousness may be interpreted as weakness,” said Mizanur. He urged the agencies, which are not officially assigned to probe the murder, to refrain from taking such steps.
The NHRC boss also said it was necessary to bring to book those responsible for the inadequacy in the first post-mortem, which was done the day after Tonu was found murdered on March 20.
The body of Tonu, a student of Comilla Victoria College, was exhumed on Wednesday for a fresh autopsy as police say they found that the first one didn't match with their inquest report.
However, the findings of the first autopsy were not made public.
In another recommendation, the commission chief said the family of the victim should not be harassed in the name of collecting information or by any means.
On March 25, Rab-11 members brought Anwara from Mirzapur village in Muradnagar upazila to the city, saying she was needed for identifying some suspects who were in their custody, family members said.
Instead of showing any suspect, the Rab took Anwara to her cantonment house.
The NHRC chairman Mizan pledged to learn from the home ministry about Rab's role in this regard.
Still, he said, Tonu's family has confidence in the prime minister and he requested the media to help the family's appeal for justice reach the PM.
BBC Banga yesterday in a report quoted Tonu's father Yaar Hossain as saying, “My daughter died inside the cantonment … if I cannot say this, just shoot me down.”
Yaar Hossain, an employee of Comilla Cantonment Board, was being interviewed by BBC Bangla for the programme, Probaho.
Cultural personality Nasiruddin Yusuff Bachchu said, "You have exhumed the body after burying it once. You have done many things in haste without completing the tasks properly. Why? These questions will surely be raised in public mind."
It was Tonu's 19th birth day yesterday.
Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) yesterday called a strike at all schools and colleges in the country for April 4 demanding justice for Tonu.
The call came after police stopped a march to the Prime Minister's Office by the left-leaning student body at Shahbagh intersection around noon.
As per the earlier announcement, Chhatra Union started the march from Raju Memorial Monument in TSC area on expiry of its 48-hour deadline for the arrest of Tonu's killer(s).
Scuffles broke out with police in front of Dhaka University's Fine Arts Institute when around a hundred agitators crossed police barricades.
GM Zilani Shuvo, general secretary of BCU, claimed that two activists were injured in the scuffles.
Facing police obstruction, the students held an impromptu rally there.
Until now, general students of Dhaka University along with the students of more than five educational institutions of the capital have called for a strike at all educational institutions on April 3 in protest.
Protest was also staged near Jatiya Press Club yesterday morning by 70-80 school-going children covering eyes with black cloths.
Several departments of Dhaka University formed human chain on the campus. Hundreds of teachers and students joined the demonstration.