The investigation of the murder of Sohagi Jahan Tonu is shrouded in doubt as the law enforcers' assurance of delivering justice does not match with their actions, said National Human Rights Commission Chairman Dr Mizanur Rahman.
Speaking at a conference in Dhaka yesterday, he said: “Similarly as all the other murder investigations in the past, law enforcers are saying they are very close to solving Tonu's murder. They keep saying these words of assurances repeatedly, but we are not seeing any significant progress.”
The conference, titled “Human rights and criminal justice delivery system in Bangladesh,” took place at Le Meridian Dhaka.
“Tonu murder was a widely publicised event, which is why the whole nation is looking at how the investigation pans out. But the delay in delivering justice is forcing people to question our legal system,” Mizan said.
“This delay is highly likely to make people feel that the case proceedings may be diverted. The country's law and order situation is deteriorating. There have been many incidents such as this recently. If Tonu's killers are not brought to justice soon, it will pose a great threat to our basic human rights.”
Mizan further said the traditional justice system in Bangladesh was deeply flawed. “Poor people are often deprived of fair trial. Influences on the judiciary system hinder fair trials, which is why people are losing confidence over our legal system. This is a severe problem for any country.
“I think we should identify the problems within the criminal justice administration, and initiatives must be taken to establish the proper authority of the state. We hope that the state will endeavour to take such steps,” he said.
The conference was also addressed by special guests Padmashree Prof NR Madhava Menon, former member of the Law Commission of India, and Prof Dr Yubaraj Sangroula from the Kathmandu School of Law in Nepal.
They said it was very difficult to have a fair trial in any case without the proper coordination between law enforcers and public prosecution.