Sagar-Runi Killing: No headway in nine years

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Investigators seek time for 78th time

Another year of hopelessness passes for the families of journalist-couple Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi. Nine years on, justice still remains a far cry.

So far, the investigators have been approached at least 78 times to submit probe reports, but they could not make any headway in the sensational case.

Sagar, news editor at private TV channel Maasranga, and Runi, a senior reporter at ATN Bangla, were killed in the early hours of February 11, 2012, at their rented flat in the capital’s West Rajabazar.

The couple’s only child Mahir Sarowar Megh, only five at the time, was in the apartment when his parents were murdered.

Speaking to this newspaper over phone yesterday, Sagar’s 69-year-old mother, Saleha Munir, said no matter how long it takes, she will keep seeking justice for her son and daughter-in-law.

“I would request the prime minister to ensure the completion of the Sagar-Runi murder case trial in Mujib Borsho. It will be a milestone.”

In the last nine years, seven officers from different agencies have investigated the case.

After Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police and the Detective Branch of Police, Rab was tasked with the probe on April 18, 2012.

In the past, police officials had claimed to have made significant progress in the investigation. However, investigation officers did nothing but file time petitions with the court for submitting the probe report.

In November 2019, even the High Court expressed disappointment as there was no significant progress in the probe.

On February 3, the investigation officer and Additional Superintendent of Police Khandaker Shafiqul Alam failed to submit the report for the 77th time. Later, a Dhaka court directed Rab, the agency dealing with the case, to inform it about the progress for the 78th time.

At least eight people, including suspects Rafiqul Islam, Bakul Miah, Masum Mintu, Kamrul Hasan alias Arun, Abu Sayeed, and two security guards of the couple’s house Palash Rudra Paul and Enamul Hoque, and the couple’s “friend” Tanveer Rahman had been arrested in connection with the murder.

Later, Tanveer and Palash got out of jail on bail.

Speaking to reporters at Rab headquarters yesterday, Lt Col Ashique Billah, director (legal and media) of the elite force, said, it has been working hard to finish the probe, adding that 160 people gave statements in this case so far.

Rab also sent samples of 25 people for DNA test and other evidence to a forensic lab in the US.

“We already got the report,” the official said without disclosing further details.

Through DNA testing, a facial structure of a person can be drawn. The IO is working on that, he added.

Meanwhile, after six long years Sagar-Runi’s residence, where they had been murdered, was opened again on Tuesday when Rab visited the scene of crime.

Runi’s brother Nawsher Roman and the couple’s son Megh also visited the place.

Roman said they don’t usually use the road in front of the house as it’s very uncomfortable for them.

“But Rab’s investigating officer came to the house and informed me over the phone so that Megh and I don’t miss the chance to see the house again.”

After six years, I went to the house and looked around the rooms. I thought of some memories, I prayed… If emotions were a body part, we would have cut it off long ago.”

On the other hand, Rab said it was hopeful to submit a report soon after the visit.

Source: The Daily Star



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