No members from government agencies, law enforcement or investigation officers have contacted the family of murdered LGBT rights activist Xulhaz Mannan in the year since the crime took place.
Despite being a widely discussed murder, police have not communicated with Xulhaz’s brother Minhaz Mannan Emon, the plaintiff of the case.
Usually police and the investigators communicate with the victim’s family and the plaintiff for the sake of investigation.
Xulhaz’s family says no officials from law enforcement or the investigators of the case communicated with them in one year.
“We do not know what is the status of the case,” Xulhaz’s brother Emon told the Dhaka Tribune.
Xulhaz and his friend Khandaker Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were killed in a Dhaka flat on April 25 last year. Investigators have so far failed to come up with visible progress into investigation of the case, only having made two arrests.
Armed assailants entered Xulhaz’s Kalabagan flat in Dhaka in the afternoon, identifying themselves as courier company staff and hacked him and Tonoy to death.
Police have arrested Shariful Islam alias Karamot alias Shihab, who allegedly supplied firearms to the militants to run the killing operation, and Rashid Uddin Bhuiyan Tipu alias Rashidun Nabi, for involvement in the murder.
The latter was also involved in the killing of Jagannath University student and secular activist Nazimuddin Samad.
CTTC chief Monirul Islam told journalists that Nabi confessed to having a role in the Xulhaz and Tonoy murders during questioning.
“We are now analysing his information and trying to track down the whereabouts of the killers,” he added.
Recently, the investigating officer on the case failed to submit his investigation report to the court for the 13th time.
Xulhaz was a USAID local staff member and editor of the country’s only known LGBT magazine Roopbaan, and his friend Khandaker Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy was also a theatre activist.
Two cases were filed - one over the murder and the other for assault on a cop and arms case - with the Kalabagan Police Station. The Detective Branch of Dhaka police has been given the charge of probing the killings.
Ansar al-Islam, earlier known as Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), which claims to be a local branch of al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), claimed responsibility for the double murder.
Sources in the CTTC unit and Detective Branch (DB) said Nabi admitted to having close relations with ABT operation wing chief Syed Ziaul Haque, who is believed to have masterminded targeted killings of war crimes trial campaigners and secularists across the country.
Police had declared a bounty for information regarding the sacked Army officer Maj Syed Ziaul Hoque alias Zia and trainer Salim alias Iqbal alias Mamun alias Hadi 2, who was directly involved in the attack, and top leader Mukul Rana alias Shariful alias Shakib alias Sharif alias Saleh alias Arif alias Hadi 1.
Mukul was killed in an alleged gunfight with DB police in Khilgaon, Dhaka on June 19.
Asked about Xulhaz’s mother’s condition, Emon said the incident happened in front of her eyes.
“But my mother has suffered from amnesia after the incident and believes that Xulhaz is alive.”
Sometimes she asks about Xulhaz and the family tells her he is in USA, he added.
Emon said he did not know who the concerned official in the case is.
DB Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten said police are certain that ABT carried out the attack.
“Five people have been identified as being involved and we are trying to arrest all of them,” he said.