9 Years of Taqi murder: A charge sheet taking forever
Almost a year after the brutal murder of Tanwir Muhammad Taqi, the draft of a Rab probe report got leaked in the media, revealing the involvement of 11 people, including Ajmeri Osman, in the killing.
Ajmeri is the son of late Jatiya Party lawmaker Nasim Osman and nephew of ruling Awami League MP Shamim Osman.
According to the probe findings, Ajmeri not only masterminded the murder of the bright teenage boy in Narayanganj, but also directly took part in it.
At his directives, his accomplices followed Taqi and forcefully took him to his "torture centre" at Winner Fashion on Allama Iqbal Road on March 6, 2013.
Later that night, Ajmeri and his cohorts beat and strangled the seventeen-year-old boy to death. His body was then put into a sack and taken to Charargop area in Ajmeri's car.
From there, the killers took the body to Kumudini Jora Khal in a boat and dumped it in the Shitalakkhya sometime between 1:00am and 1:30am on March 7.
Taqi's body was recovered from the river the next day, according to the findings, reported by various media outlets.
Also, a day before Taqi's first death anniversary, Col Ziaul Ahsan, the then additional director general of Rab, claimed they had cracked the murder mystery.
He told the media they had evidence on the involvement of 11 people, including Ajmeri. He also insisted the charge sheet in the case would be submitted any day.
That day, however, has yet to come, even after eight long years, lingering Taqi's parent's agonising wait for justice and highlighting the authorities' unwillingness to end it.
"We don't know the wait will ever be over. The government keeps protecting the ruling party men linked to the murder," a frustrated Rafiur Rabbi, Taqi's father, told The Daily Star on Thursday.
He said the investigators showed their competence by identifying the killers within a year, but they could not submit the charge sheet due to political pressure on the investigation agency.
He hoped justice for Taqi would be done someday and that the Awami League government would be "put in the dock for blocking the murder trial".
Taqi went missing after he left his Shaista Khan Road home in Narayanganj for Sudhijon Pathagar, a local library, around 4:00pm on March 6, 2013.
A day after his body was found, his A-level results were out, which showed he got the world's highest mark in physics in that exam, obtaining 297 out of 300.
According to the Rab report, Ajmeri Osman killed Taqi as his father Rafiur Rabbi, a left-leaning leader and a cultural organiser, along with his supporters actively campaigned for Selina Hayet Ivy ahead of the Narayanganj City Corporation election.
The report clearly mentioned the role of each of the 11 accused in the murder.
The other accused are Yusuf Hossain Liton, Sultan Shawkat alias Bhromor, Tayebuddin Jaky, Rajib, Kalam Shikder, Mamun, Apu, Kajol, Shipon, and Jamshed Hossain.
Rab had arrested Liton, Bhromor, Jaky and two other suspects -- Rifat Bin Osman and Salah Rahman Simanta. All of them are now out of jail on bail.
Liton and Bhromor made confessionals statements before courts under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in July and November 2013, narrating details from the murder planning to the execution.
Bhromor, however, appealed to the magistrate concerned later, seeking withdrawal of his statement.
A few months after Taqi murder, Rab members raided Ajmeri's Winner Fashion office and seized a pair of blood-stained jeans, a pistol butt and items for yaba consumption. Officials also found numerous bullet marks on the walls, almirah and sofa there.
The Rab report also mentioned that the force recovered the truncheons used to torture Taqi to death.
Besides, Taqi Mancha, a platform demanding justice for the murder, claimed on several occasions that Winner Fashion was one of the six "torture cells" identified by it.
Despite all this, Taqi's killers are still at large, as a top AL leader is defending the influential Osman family in Narayanganj, alleged Rafiur Rabbi.
He also alleged that his son's murder probe got stalled after that top leader, while speaking in parliament on a condolence motion on the death of Nasim Osman in June 2014, claimed propaganda was being spread against the Osman family.
For comments, The Daily Star repeatedly called Ajmeri over the phone on Friday, but he did not respond.
The probe report said another reason for the murder was that Rafiur Rabbi led a massive movement against transport owners' bid to hike bus fare on the Dhaka-Narayanganj route.
Rabbi recently said the bus owners were subservient to Shamim Osman.
The day Taqi's body was found, he filed a murder case with Narayanganj Kotwali Police Station. Later, on March 18 that year, he submitted a complaint to the superintendent of police against seven people, including Shamim Osman, and 8-10 unnamed others.
Shamim could not be reached over the phone for comments yesterday.
The home ministry on June 20, 2013, handed the case to Rab upon a High Court order following an appeal by Rafiur Rabbi.
Contacted on Thursday, Rab-11 Commanding Officer Lt Col Tanvir Mahmud Pasha said the investigation was still going on and completing it would take a long time.
"There are no barriers or pressures on anyone. Cracking mysteries in some complex cases takes time… the probe [in Taqi murder] will be over at the right time."
Refuting the allegation that the investigation agency was under political pressure, he said Rabbi was making such allegations because he is the father of the victim.
The Rab CO also said, "We have solved many clueless murder cases. But we want no innocent person to be accused ... I hope you will see something over this case soon."
Asked about the then Rab top official's comment in 2014 on submitting the charge sheet "any day", Tanvir said there was no scope of filing it before the investigation ended.
As his attention was drawn to the matter, Omar Faruk, professor at the Department of Criminology and Police Science at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University in Tangail, said, "The state has to take the responsibility as the criminal justice system itself has become questionable here."