Rights boss doubts first autopsy
The National Human Rights Commission will seek prime minister's interference if the second autopsy on Sohagi Jahan Tonu turns out to be as shoddy as the first one, its chairman said.
"We are waiting for the second autopsy report. If it is a cooked-up one like the first one, we will write to the highest authority, the prime minister, and seek her directives for a proper investigation," NHRC Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman told The Daily Star yesterday.
The first autopsy did not find any sign of rape on the body of Tonu, a second-year history student of Comilla Victoria Govt College, and failed to ascertain the cause of her death. The report was made public on Monday two weeks after she was found dead in Comilla Cantonment area, raising questions about the credibility of the autopsy.
Kamoda Prosad Saha, head of the forensic medicine department at Comilla Medical College where the first autopsy was done, however, said such results might come in 2 to 5 percent autopsies.
Now a three-member board led by Saha will submit the report of the second autopsy done on March 30.
On April 3, the NHRC wrote a letter to the home ministry with some recommendations to make sure that the investigation into the murder did not get derailed. The ministry is yet to reply to the letter.
In the letter, the rights body said the second autopsy should give answers to the questions aroused following the recovery of Tonu's body for the sake of justice.
Whoever tried to influence the first post-mortem report must be brought to justice, it added.
Prof Mizanur yesterday said the NHRC has some limitations by law but would do its best to ensure justice for Tonu.
He urged all involved in the investigation to perform their duties with care and honesty.
"Being a doctor if I do not mention facts in the autopsy report, it is not only that I am doing injustice to a justice seeker, I am also tarnishing the image of the noble profession.”
Mizanur expressed similar views regarding the role of the law enforcement agencies in the investigation.
It is not a matter that the crime was committed inside the cantonment. A crime may take place anywhere in the country but It will be praiseworthy if justice is ensured through a proper investigation, he said.
The Criminal Investigation Department took over the charge of the case from the Detective Branch of police on March 29. Earlier, Kotwali police probed the murder.
Meanwhile, protests across the country have raged as the investigators are taking more time to identify the killers, let alone arrest them.
Students yesterday threatened to enforce a half-day countrywide hartal on April 25 if the killers are not arrested by the time.
Two major left-leaning alliances -- Progressive Students' Alliance and Anti-Imperialist Students' Union -- threatened to wage a movement to oust the government if it remains indifferent to the issue.
Ashraful Alam Sohel, coordinator of the first alliance, spoke of announcing such movement after police foiled demonstrators' attempt to besiege the home ministry around 12:15pm.
Prior to that, students marched in procession through the Dhaka University campus and broke through three layers of barricades between Doyel Chattar and High Court road in the capital.
Meanwhile, the CID interrogated two army men over the killing of Tonu.
The army personnel had been on duty near the site of the crime on the fateful night. A CID team, headed by Abdul Kahar Akand, Dhaka senior police super, took them to Comilla CID office yesterday and quizzed them.
Tonu, 19, a member of Victoria College Theatre, went missing on March 20, hours after she left her house at Comilla Mainamati Cantonment for giving private tuition.
Later that night, her father Yaar Hossain found her lying senseless with severe injuries in a bush near the house. She was whisked off to Combined Military Hospital where doctors declared her dead.