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Six months into Tonu murder: Investigation remains stalled

  • Published at 08:18 pm September 20th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:58 pm September 21st, 2016
Six months into Tonu murder: Investigation remains stalled
Marking six months of Tonu's death, a protest rally was held at Pubali intersection of the district town Tuesday. Her mother Anowara Begum and brother Anwar Hossain, among others, took part in the agitation programme. Breaking down into tears, Anowara said: “How much assurance will we get? Tonu's father fell ill after his daughter's death. Miscreants also tried to kill him. We are going through a hardship. We are being threatened every day by unidentified callers. Our family has been shattered. I want the death penalty for all the killers of my daughter.” Anwar said that they were frustrated as the investigation had remained stalled.
Also read: Sluggish investigation, justice a mirage
Protesting Tonu's death, a cultural programme was also held performed by members of Gonojagoron Moncho and Baul Pathi Gosthi. Khairul Anam Raihan, spokesperson of Gonojagoron Moncho, Comilla chapter, said: “We did not see any progress in the case over the last six months. Autopsy on Tonu's body was conducted twice which could not identify the reason behind the murder. The law enforcers are yet to conduct DNA tests of the three persons' sperm found on Tonu's dress." On the night of March 20, the body of Tonu, a theatre activist, was recovered from a jungle near her house inside Mainamati Cantonment. Her father Yaar Hossain filed a case with Kotwali model police station the same day. Doctors performed two autopsies on her body. The first report released on April 4 drew widespread criticism, as it concluded that no sign of murder or rape was found.
More here: Tonu’s body exhumed
The second report was released on June 12 and it also sparked controversy. Evidence of sexual intercourse was found on Tonu’s body. The sperm of three people was also found on the victim's clothes. On May 10, parents of the victim named Army Sergeant Jahid, his wife and soldier Jahid for killing their daughter. They also alleged that the law enforcers were trying to save the killers. The Criminal Investigation Department was entrusted with the investigation on April 1. Special Superintendent of Police Abdul Kahar Akand is coordinating the probe. Sub-Inspector of CID Comilla Jalal Uddin Ahmed, investigation officer of the case, could not be reached despite several attempts.
ISPR statements released so far
During the investigation, the Inter-service Public Relations (ISPR) of the army issued several statements saying they were assisting in the probe. The ISPR also claimed that Tonu’s family members had raised baseless and inconsistent allegations at different times and on different issues which may stain the image of the Bangladesh Army. The CID and other investigation agencies have so far grilled more than a hundred people, including Tonu’s family members, friends, military police officials and children of army officials. Earlier, Tonu’s mother expressed frustration over the transfer of Special Superintendent of Police in Comilla Dr Nazmul Karim Khan, saying he had been doing his best to solve the case and his transfer would delay the probe. Nazmul told reporters in June that they would match the DNA with both civilians and suspected army officials to find the actual culprit. He later said the probe would be slow as the incident took place inside the cantonment, and that the case could have been solved faster if the crime had been committed elsewhere. He was transferred within a month of making the comments. After the murder created much outrage, Chief Justice SK Sinha at a programme said that the trial of Tonu murder case could not be held under the existing laws, a proposition controverted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.