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Four Years of Sagar-Runi Murder Probe lingers on

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FT Online:
Four years have elapsed since the gruesome killing of journalist couple Sagar and Runi in the capital, but the motive behind the double murder is still shrouded in mystery.
Even the investigators are yet to complete the probe into the killings that took place on February 11 in 2012, sources said.
At least 146 hearings in the case took place at Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court since February 13, 2012. The court fixed 39 dates, asking the investigators for submitting the probe report, but they failed to do it in scheduled time.
Finally, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Yunus Khan on January 18 ordered the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for submitting the report by February 28 in the case.
The investigating agency RAB has not yet been able to make any breakthrough in unearthing the mystery of the murder even after getting DNA reports from a private lab in the USA.
The RAB has so far submitted seven progress reports to the court in
the case. But none of the progress reports indicated that the RAB got any substantial clue in the case.
The RAB said they have been scrutinising the DNA reports and applied to Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commi-ssion in order to furnish them with a stolen personal laptop of the journalist couple and call list of two guards of the house.
The investigators have interrogated 158 persons, including 27 journalists, during the ongoing probe and they also recorded statements of Mahin Sarwar Megh, son of the slain couple, case documents showed.
DNA reports on 21 persons and case
evidence have revealed that two unidentified males played a part in the killings. Now the RAB is trying to identify them, the report said.Assistant Police Super Mohiuddin Ahamed, Deputy Director of
the Investigation Department at the RAB Headquarters, is now investigating the case. He said, “We are trying hard and hope to unearth the mystery of the murder.”Meanwhile, the family members of the slain couple have become
frustrated and lost hope of justice as four years already passed without significant progress in the case since the incident took place.Nawsher Alam Roman, plaintiff of the case and brother of Runi, said, “We have become frustrated over slow progress in investigation. We no more hope that the motives behind the murder would ever be unearthed.”
According to the case documents, on February 11, 2012
Maasranga TV News Editor Sagar Sarwar and ATN Bangla Senior Reporter
Meherun Runi were killed in their rented flat at West Rajabazar in the
capital.The double murder triggered public outcry as police, detectives and political bigwigs turned up at the couple’s residence and assured their family of speedy trial.
Several suspects were rounded up, but a significant breakthrough is nowhere in sight yet. Detectives failed in probing the case and the RAB took the charge on April 18, 2012, but the elite force has not succeeded either.The RAB told the media that the submitting of the charge sheet had delayed as they were yet to analyse the DNA reports that came from the USA.  RAB now says they need more time to analyse it.
In the case, six suspects of Dr Narayan Chandra Nitai murder were shown arrested in the Sagar-Runi murder case as the physician was killed in a similar style. RAB personnel suspect that the six were also involved in the Sagar-Runi murder.
The elite force also detained Humayun Kabir alias Enamul, key suspect in the case, as he was the fugitive security guard of the building where the couple were killed.
They also arrested Tanvir Rahman, a family friend of the victims. Tanvir and another accused are now on bail in the case.After the incident, the then home minister, Sahara Khatun, said the
killers would be identified and arrested within 48 hours. On October 2012, the home ministry produced a list of eight suspected killers.
On February 13, 2012, then IGP Hassan Mahmud Khandker claimed a significant development in the probe.
Even, three days after the murder, DMP Spokesperson Monirul Islam
said the suspects were under watch. The police finally admitted their failure.  Later, the High Court handed over the charge of the investigation to the RAB.
Contacted, Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, Director (Legal and Media Wing) of the RAB Headquarters, said, “We are investigating the case with top priority.”

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