College Student’s Death: 'We’re concerned and outraged'
Fifty-one eminent personalities yesterday expressed resentment and concern over the exemption of Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir from the charges of abetting the death of college student by suicide in a Gulshan flat in April.
The distinguished personalities in a joint statement demanded re-investigation into the case.
"Recently… Bashundhara Group's accused Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir was acquitted and the police submitted a final report to the court. We express our concern and outrage at this," reads the statement.
"We do not have any information that police took him to a police station for interrogation, let alone arresting him after filing of the case," it adds.
On the contrary, it seemed that the obstruction of a citizen's gathering seeking justice, and the dissemination of misleading information about the victim, and slander and harassment targeted at the plaintiff, and the free movement of Anvir were aimed at swaying the investigation.
"In this context, there is adequate room for doubts as to whether the case has been properly investigated."
They urged the government to launch a fresh investigation and ensure that the police impartially analyse the important clues like the woman's diaries.
"We are also requesting the government to look into whether the plaintiff in the case was fired by the Padma Bank authorities under any pressure. At the same time, we demand that the propaganda against the victim and the harassment of the plaintiff stop and that she and her family be provided security.
"We believe that a proper investigation and appropriate trial… is essential in the interest of maintaining people's confidence in the rule of law."
The government's sincere adherence to the policy to prevent violence against women can only be proved through an impartial and fair investigation when the accused is a powerful and wealthy individual.
"We look forward to an active role from the highest level of the government to ensure an impartial, fair investigation into the incident..."
Serajul Islam Choudhury, Dhaka University professor emeritus; Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Gonoshasthya Kendra trustee; Sultana Kamal, noted rights activist; Hossain Zillur Rahman, economist and Executive Chairman, PPRC; Ali Imam Majumder, former cabinet secretary; Dr Hameeda Hossain, noted rights activist; Khushi Kabir, coordinator, Nijera Kori; Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation; Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director, Transparency International Bangladesh; and Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education, are among the signatories to the statement undersigned by eminent lawyer Syeda Rizwana Hasan.
Police recently cleared Anvir of the charges brought against him. An officer investigating the case filed a probe report with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka on July 19.
The court set July 29 to decide whether it will accept the report.
The 21-year-old victim's elder sister who filed the case said she will file a no-confidence petition against the probe report.
On April 26, police recovered the college student's body hanging from the ceiling fan of her bedroom in a Gulshan flat. Her feet were touching the bed and both knees were a little bent.
Two days after the incident, Sudip Chakrabarty, the then deputy commissioner (Gulshan division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said that six diaries of the college student contained crucial evidence supporting the allegations brought against Anvir.
"The victim's utter frustration and mental breakdown are reflected in her diaries that we have seized. Her writings will be important evidence," the DC told reporters at his office.