"Home minister, don't think journalists will spare you"

Journalists demand tiral of killing of journalists including Sagar-Runi at a rally in front of Press Club on 10 February 2023
Pradip Sarker

Journalists faced the most killing, torture and deprivation during the current government’s tenure, alleged leaders of journalist community at a rally on Friday.

Dhaka Journalists Union (DUJ) organised the protest rally demanding justice for murder of all journalists including Sagar-Runi in front of national press club.

The DUJ leaders said the home minister assures them of taking action against all the crimes committed against the journalists but he does not take any action.

Journalist couple Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi was killed on 11 February 2012 night at their house in West Rajabazar. Their murder still remains a mystery after 11 years. The deadline for submission of the probe report in the murder case has been rescheduled for 95 times due the failure of investigators.

Journalist couple Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi was killed on 11 February 2012 night at their house in West Rajabazar. Their murder still remains a mystery after 11 years

Journalist leaders said trust in the country’s justice system and investigating bodies are being destroyed due to such procrastination.

Speaking as the chief guest, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists’ (BFUJ) president Omar Faruque said, “We’ve called on home minister four times in last one year. We told him to take action over killings of journalists. He gave us assurance again and again only to forget it once we left. This is not right. Don’t think journalists would spare you (home minister). You will come under siege one day for the trial of this murder.”

Mentioning names of slain journalists including Sagar-Runi, Omar Faruque said, “We sought justice over murder of Sagar-Runi and others. Can you claim that you took any step over a single killing? Why don’t you take action? It’s during your regime the journalists are facing most murder, torture and deprivation.”

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

DUJ’s president Sohel Haider said journalists are being harassed again and again by Digital Security Act. Journalists are being subjected to all kinds of harassment but the government or state do not do anything to prevent.

Dhaka Reporters Unity’s (DRU) president Morsalin Nomani said the court gave the Rapid Action Battallion (RAB) a deadline to file the probe report 95 times. Why did RAB take time again and again if they can’t unearth the mystery over the killing, asked Morsalin.

Maasranga Television’s chief news editor Rashed Ahmed said their channel has been going door to door demanding justice in Sagar-Runi murder case.

It’s a shame that the investigators have failed to submit a probe report despite getting deadline for submission of the report for 95 times, he added.

DUJ general secretary Akter Hossain said a foreign forensic team was brought in to probe the murder. It was told later that two killers have been identified but we are yet to know their names.

BFUJ’s treasurer Khairuzzaman Kamal, among other journalists spoke at the protest rally conducted by DUJ’s joint secretary Khairul Alam. They brought out a protest procession following the rally.