The High Court yesterday expressed shock at learning that nobody came forward to protect Rifat Sharif when he was being hacked by assailants, although many captured video footage of the attack.
“This is a picture of social degradation. This is a failure of the people to save him [Rifat]. Such a situation had not been seen in Bangladesh earlier,” it said.
The court came up with the observation when the HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed an order on a suo moto (voluntary) move following newspaper reports on the Rifat murder.
Supreme Court lawyer Ruhul Quddus Kazal had placed before the bench some newspapers, including The Daily Star, which carried reports of the incident.
Criminals attacked Rifat, 25, with sharp weapons in broad daylight in front of Barguna Government College around 10:30am on Wednesday.
The entire incident, which was captured possibly on a mobile phone, shows the attack on the Rifat in Barguna town in front of the college where he had gone to drop-off his wife.
In the footage, his wife could be seen desperately trying to save him.
During the proceeding, the HC bench said, “If some people, who witnessed the incident, had come forward, he [Rifat] might have been saved. They [witnesses] might [have been] scared sensing that the killers are very powerful. The whole nation is shocked at the incident. What has this society come to?”
The HC also directed the government to issue a red alert so that the killers cannot leave the country and ordered law enforcers to immediately arrest all the accused in the case filed over the killing.
The HC asked Deputy Attorney General Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar to communicate the necessary actions to be taken in this regard to the Inspector General of Police and submit a progress report before this court by July 4.
The court said it would keep an eye on the matter and interfere if it notices any deficiency.
At around 2:30pm, DAG Bashar told the court that he had communicated and talked to the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Barguna and the officer-in-charge of Barguna Sadar Police Station, as per its order.
The DC, SP and OC informed that the victim’s father Abdul Halim had filed a murder case with the station naming 12 persons and five to six other unknown people.
Besides, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered those involved in the killing to be brought to book as early as possible.
“It’s a sad incident; it’s a brutal killing. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked law enforcement agencies to arrest the killers at any cost,” said Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, at a briefing at his Secretariat office, reports BSS.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal also assured that the killers would not be spared.
“All the killers will be brought to book. Police have already arrested two people in this connection.
“Police are not sitting idle. It’s a saddening incident and we will disclose the reason behind the grisly murder after conducting a proper investigation,” he said to reporters after attending a programme at Chattogram’s Kazir Dewri area.