Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman has urged PBI to take the matter seriously
Family members, friends and well-wishers of Ganotantri Party president and labour rights leader Nurul Islam and his son Islam Tamohar, both of who died in a 2008 fire incident, have demanded an end to the investigation into the reason behind their deaths.
Terming the deaths as political killings which took place just 26 days before the 2008 general election, they said the law enforcing agencies kept failing to complete investigation into the fire incident even after 11 years.
The close ones of the deceased said this at a press conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday.
They urged the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to press charges in the case filed over the incident, at the earliest.
The press conference was addressed by Dhaka University’s Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman, Bangladesh Trade Union Centre (BTUC) General Secretary Wajed Ali Khan, BTUC Vice President Abul Kalam Azad and Tamohar’s friend AKM Masud Ali, among others.
Nurul, who was an Awami League-led grand alliance candidate for the 9th general election, suffered severe burn injuries and his son was burnt alive at their rented flat in Lalmatia in the early hours of December 3, 2008.
Nominated from Noakhali 1 constituency, Nurul was first admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and then shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) where he died 42 hours later.
Nearly 40% Nurul’s body was burnt and his respiratory organs were affected, leading to his demise, doctors said at the time.
At the media briefing, the speakers under the banner of “Nurul Islam Smrity Parishad (Nurul Islam Commemorating Council)” alleged that the killers and masterminds did it all only to remove the politician from the polls race.
Former women’s reserved seat lawmaker Rubi Rahman, the widow of Nurul, reading out a statement, said the murder case was listed as a sensational lawsuit during the Awami League-led government’s 2009-2013 regime.
“But now we do not know if it is still on the list of sensational cases. We all are worried about the slow progress of the investigation,” she said.
Since the deaths, many protests, discussions and forums were held and human chains were formed demanding justice for the duo, Rubi maintained.
Moutushi Islam, the only daughter of Nurul, said her father and brother had repeatedly been receiving phone calls from unknown people regarding the politician’s candidature.
“The callers used to threaten my father to withdraw his candidacy,” she said. “Maybe, a vested group out of their own interest planned the killings and executed it.”
Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman said Bangladesh witnessed so many political killings over the years, but their probe for some reason remained pending.
“Since 2008, the political killings of Nurul, journalist couple Sagar-Runi, and Tawki (son of cultural activist Rafiur Rabbi) have taken place, but mysteriously there is no headway in their murder probes,” he said.
Urging the PBI to take the matter seriously, he said: “For the sake of our civilization, the murder victims have to be served justice.”