Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Seven years not enough to crack journalist couple Sagar-Runi murder mystery

  • Liton Haider and Prokash Biswas, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-02-11 04:33:22 BdST

The investigation into the murder of Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Nahar Runi has not ended seven years after the journalist couple’s bodies were found murdered in their Dhaka home.

Six police and Rapid Action Battalion or RAB officers have investigated the case so far, but the current investigation officer, RAB’s Assistant Superintended of Police Md Shohidar Rahman cannot say when he might submit the report and charge the accused in court.

Speaking to bdnews24.com on Sunday, two days before the seventh anniversary of the killings that shocked the media community and others, he said he received the reports of the DNA tests from home and abroad, but declined revealing any information.

“We are checking the reports,” he said.

Asked when they would be able to submit the charge-sheet, he said, “It’s an ongoing process. There is no scope of setting a date for charge-sheet submission.”

The court hearing the case has set Feb 17 as the deadline for charge-sheet submission. The investigation officers, however, have received 63 extensions after similar deadlines were fixed.

The then home minister Shahara Khatun, within hours of the incident in 2012, had promised to catch the culprits within 48 hours.

Nine months after Khatun’s assurance, erstwhile home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir claimed major breakthrough at a press conference after the arrest of a few people in another case.

The investigators have been submitting the progress report every month following a court directive, but nothing substantive has come out so far.

Initially, different organisations of journalists hit the streets demanding justice, but those demonstrations eventually fizzled out.

The plaintiff of the case, Runi's brother Nowsher Alam Roman, earlier said he saw no hope of the murder mystery getting resolved.

On Feb 12, 2012, Maasranga Television News Editor Sagar Sarowar and ATN Bangla Senior Reporter Meherun Runi were stabbed to death in the bedroom of their flat in Dhaka's Razabazar.

After the murder, Runi’s brother started the case with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police.

The case was then handed over to the Detective Branch.

After DB admitted its failure before a court to resolve the case, 62 days after the incident, the RAB had been asked to take over the investigation.

Eight people were arrested in the sensational case.

They were Tanvir Rahman, whom police identified as family friend of Sagar and Runi, security guards Polash Rudra Paul and Enam Ahmed alias Huamayun Kabir, Rofiqul Islam, Bokul Miah, Masum Mintu, Kamrul Hasan Arun and Md Sayeed – all identified by the law enforcers as members of a gang of professional criminals.

Tanvir and Polash are out on bail now.