Hearing on the rule set to begin after 10 yrs

Maasranga Television news editor Sagar Sarwar (R) and his wife, ATN Bangla senior reporter Meherun RuniFile photo

The High Court had issued a rule 10 years ago asking why the reasons behind the killing of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi should not be determined and why the persons involved in the killing should not be brought to book through proper legal process.

The final hearing on that rule is now set to begin in the High Court. The writ came up in the agenda of the High Court on Monday. The rule will be heard by the High Court bench of Justice Md Mojibur Rahman and Justice Ahmed Sohel.

The hearing on the rule may start any day, said writ petitioner's lawyer Manzill Murshid.

The couple was brutally murdered in their rented apartment in West Rajabazar on 11 February 2012. On 12 February 2012, Runi’s brother Nowsher Alam filed a murder case at the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station over this incident.

In addition, advocate Manzill Murshid filed the writ on behalf of rights organisation Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking necessary directives, including the determination of the reasons behind the killing right after the incident. After the initial hearing, the High Court issued an order including the rule.

The home secretary, inspector general of police (IGP), Rapid Action Battalion’s (RAB) director general (DG), commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), deputy commissioner of DMP’s detective branch (South) and Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station were asked to respond to the rule.

The Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police were investigating the case at first. Four days later, the case was handed over to DMP’s detective branch (DB). Some 62 days after taking charge of the investigation of the case DB police admitted failure to solve the case in the High Court on 18 April 2012. Then the High Court ordered the RAB to take over the case on the same day. Since then, RAB has been investigating the case. Lastly, 27 March was fixed as the date for the submission of the probe report in this case. However, RAB didn’t submit the report on that day as well. Then the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court of Dhaka fixed 26 April as the new date for the submission of the investigation reports.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, senior lawyer Manzill Murshid, said, the report has not been submitted in the judicial court in the last 10 years. The case is still under investigation. At the same time, the rule has not been answered in the last 10 years. But there is hope as the hearing on the rule is set to begin in the court on any day.