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Family, locals demand justice for Tanni

  • Published at 08:22 pm April 7th, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:30 pm April 7th, 2017
Family, locals demand justice for Tanni
Family members of Sarah Fergusan Tanni and locals in Khulna city have demanded the arrest and speedy trial of the perpetrators who provoked her to commit suicide two years ago. The main accused in the case is her husband Sohel Biswas, the son of Abdul Gaffar, a former lawmaker. Sohel was arrested on May 8, 2015. After being released on bail, Shohel married his fourth wife. In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune, Sohel’s father confirmed his son had gotten married in November 2016. The Khulna Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court is scheduled to hold a hearing in the case on April 18. Earlier the court ordered the police to publish a newspaper announcement seeking Sohel’s whereabouts, which has yet to be published. Tanni’s family claims she was murdered for protesting against her husband’s extramarital affair. Her body was found hanging from the ceiling on April 7, 2015. Gaffar said: “Tanni’s family is making false allegations against my son to defame our family. The autopsy report clearly says it was a suicide, not a murder.” He also organised a Milad Mahfil on Friday to mark Tanni's second death anniversary. Locals and Tanni’s family took part in a human chain protest in Picture Palace area of the city the same day. Tanni’s uncle Assaduzzam, the convener of the committee that organised the protest, said: “Even after being arrested, the High Court released Sohel on bail due to a weak investigation by the CID [Criminal Investigation Department].” The protesters also demanded that the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act be properly implemented as 80% of women are abused and tortured by their husbands every year. Iti Biswas, Tanni’s sister-in-law, also named in the case as an accused, remains a fugitive. Tanni’s mother Shamima Akhter said: “Iti, who is also responsible for my daughter’s death, has never been arrested.” When Shamima tried to file a complaint against Sohel and Iti, the police refused to file it. Later, following a Metropolitan Magistrate Court order, a case was recorded where Shamima accused them of the murder. The complainant stated that the accused had beaten her daughter and then strangled her to death at Gaffar’s house on the night of April 7, 2015. After a police investigation, a charge sheet was filed on May 5 the same year, stating that Tanni had been provoked to commit suicide due to Sohel’s torture and abuse. On May 11 that year, Tanni’s family filed a petition against the charge sheet as the police had dropped Iti’s name. The court then ordered the CID to reinvestigate the case. In April 2016, the CID submitted a charge sheet, stating that it was a suicide. Tanni’s family again filed a petition against CID’s charge sheet with the previous claim. Though Tanni’s autopsy report said that she had committed suicide, torture marks were visible on her body when the body was recovered.