Sagira Morshed murder: 2 get life imprisonment, 3 released

Sagira Morshed SalamFile photo

In a landmark decision on Wednesday, a Dhaka court convicted Anas Mahmud, also known as Rezwan, and Maruf Reza in the 1989 murder of Sagira Morshed, sentencing each to life imprisonment.

The case, which has captivated public interest for over three decades, reached a pivotal moment as the Dhaka Special Judge Court-3, led by judge Mohammad Ali, also imposed a Tk 50,000 fine on each convict.

Meanwhile, three other suspects were acquitted due to insufficient evidence. They are - Hasan Ali Chowdhury, 70, Sayedatul Mahmud alias Shaheen, 64, and Mantu Mandal.

The incident took place on Siddheswari Road in Dhaka, on 25 July in 1989, when Sagira Morshed was fatally shot in a brutal attack as she was on her way to pick up her daughter from Viqarunnisa Noon School and College.

According to witnesses, two assailants on a motorcycle attempted to steal her gold bangles, ultimately shooting her as she tried to escape. Morshed succumbed to her injuries en route to the hospital, marking a tragic end to what initially appeared as a robbery.

The case initially saw slow progress, with Salam Chowdhury, Morshed’s husband, filing a complaint with the Ramna police station.

It wasn’t significant until a High Court directive that the investigation was handed over to the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), unveiling the deeper, darker motives behind Morshed’s murder.

In a stunning turn of events, PBI’s diligent investigation revealed that the murder stemmed from an internal family dispute, rather than a random act of violence.

This revelation was further solidified when two of Morshed’s relatives, Hasan, her brother-in-law, and his wife Shahin Chowdhury, confessed their involvement in orchestrating the murder, prompted by familial discord.

The breakthrough came when Dr. Hasan, after years abroad, was arrested and brought before the magistrate’s court, confessing to the crime and highlighting the complexity and depth of the family feud that led to Morshed’s untimely death.