No visible progress in probe | 2019-02-11

7 Yrs of Sagar-Runi Killing

No visible progress in probe

Md Solamain Salman

11 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

No visible progress in probe

Seven years have elapsed since the killing of journalist couple Sagar-Runi but the gruesome incident is still shrouded in mystery.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is conducting probe into the double murder case but they are yet to make any headway in it.

A total of seven investigating officers (IOs), including five from RAB, carried out investigation into the case but they failed to submit any probe report.

RAB appointed additional DIG Md Moinul Islam, ASP Mohiuddin Ahmed, senior ASP Md Jafar Ullah, and ASP Md Wares Ali Mia as IOs of the case since they got charge of probing the case in 2012. 

As the four IOs failed to complete the probe, RAB finally appointed ASP Md Sohidar Rahman as new investigating officer of the case on November 28, 2018.

Before RAB, two other IOs from Detective Branch and police had also carried out investigation into the case.

Sagar Sarwar was the news editor of private TV channel Maasranga while Meherun Runi was the senior reporter of ATN Bangla. They were murdered at their home in Rajabazar area in the capital on February 11, 2012.

Mahir Sarwar Megh, only son of the couple, was five years old when his parents were brutally killed. He has turned 12 now, but there is still no breakthrough in the case.

Meanwhile, the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court had fixed a total of 63 dates asking the investigating officers to submit probe report to the court in the case. But they are taking time one after another instead of submitting the probe report.

Now, the relatives of the victims think that the murder case has been covered up. They also have got frustrated and lost hope of justice due to lack of any progress.

Expressing frustration over the probe, Sagar’s mother Saleha Munir said, “The submission date of probe report is being deferred one after another. Now everyone should forget them though I cannot do it because I am a mother.”

“I cannot see justice in my lifetime,” she added.

Runi’s younger brother Nowsher Alam Roman said, “The investigators meet us occasionally, but they never tell anything about the progress of the probe.”

“We have abandoned our hopes of unearthing the motives behind the murder,” he said, adding that the case might have been covered up in a planned way.

Different courts have expressed dissatisfaction over slow progress of the investigation in the sensational case.

Court sources said RAB could not make any headway in unearthing the mystery of the murder even after getting DNA test reports from a private lab in the USA.

RAB has so far submitted eight progress reports to the court about the case. But no progress reports indicated that RAB got any substantial clue in the case.

ASP Mohiuddin Ahmed submitted the latest progress report before the court on March 15, 2017, since then, no progress report was submitted to the court in the case.

During the long-probe, investigators have interrogated a total of 158 persons, including 27 journalists, and recorded statements of Megh, but they are yet to make any headway in the incident.

The double murder incident had triggered public outcry. Police, detectives and political bigwigs turned up at the couple’s residence and assured their families of justice through speedy trial.

After the incident, the then home minister Shahara Khatun said that the killers would be arrested within 48 hours. The then IGP Hassan Mahmud Khandaker told about significant development in the probe. Even then, DMP spokesperson Monirul Islam had said that the suspects were under watch.

However, police admitted to their failure to unearth the motives of the double murder.

Later, the High Court handed over the charge of investigation to RAB on April 18, 2012, but the elite force too failed to find out the motives behind the murder in the last seven years.

However, Mufti Mahmud Khan, the director of RAB’S legal and media wing, said they are sincerely carrying out the probe to unearth the mystery of the murder while they are submitting progress reports to the court.

Six suspects in Dr Narayan Chandra murder case were shown arrested in Sagar-Runi murder case as the physician was killed in a similar manner. The elite force also arrested three other persons. But, no arrestee confessed to their involvement in the murder.

Expressing frustration, Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) general secretary Kabir Ahmed Khan said, “Seven years have passed since the killing but the law enforcers have failed to identify the real killers of the couple.”

A protest programme will be held on DRU premises at 11:00am on Monday on the occasion of seventh year of the killing, demanding justice of the brutal killing of Sagar-Runi, he added.