Remains of Sagar-Runi exhumed

After around two and a half months of the murder of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, the remains of their bodies were exhumed on Thursday for fresh autopsies to reveal the mystery surrounding the homicide.

Following a court order, the bodies were exhumed at Azimpur Graveyard and taken those to Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue at noon.

The bodies were buried again around 5:00pm after a second autopsy.

The whole operation took place in presence of Executive Magistrate Mohammad Shahiduzzaman and a number of Rapid Action Battalion officials.

Sagar, news editor at private TV station Maasranga, and Meherun, a senior reporter at another TV channel ATN Bangla, were killed in the early hours of February 11 at their rented apartment in the capital’s West Rajabazar.

Work on exhuming the remains of Sagar started around 10:15am Thursday, which continued for about half an hour. The remains of Runi were exhumed around 11:00am.

Labourers of Azimpur Graveyard dug the graves while three-staff of Dhaka Medical College preserved the remains into two body bags. Then those were taken to the DMCH in two boxes.

Lt Col Ziaul Hossain, director of Rab’s detective branch, and two additional deputy inspectors general of Rab headquarters Rowhanara Ahmed and Fazlur Rahman, Commander M Sohail, director of Rab Legal and Media Wing, Senior ASP Mohammad Zafar Ullah of Rab were present.

Runi’s brother Nawsher Alam Roman and a brother-in-law of Sagar were also present on behalf of their families.

On completion of the entire process, Sohail told reporters that they will send the viscera test reports or samples to abroad, if necessary.

Apart from Dhaka Medical College, Rab will also preserve the viscera test reports of the victims, Sohail said.

The medical college on Monday formed a three-member committee to handle the whole autopsy process. Associate Professor Kazi Golam Mokhlesur Rahman has been made its chief.

Talking the reporters, Roman said, “It is very mysterious that no viscera test reports of Sagar and Runi were preserved when the first autopsy was conducted”.

Fazlul Haq, an staff of Dhaka City Corporation (south ) who was present at the scene, told The Daily Star that his office received a letter issued by the court for allowing the authorities concerned to exhume the remains of the journalist couple Wednesday night. The letter was issued on April 24.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Bikash Kumar Saha on that day permitted Rab to exhume the remains of their bodies following a petition by ASP Zafar Ullah.

In his petition, Zafar, also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, said the viscera test reports of the victims were not preserved by the previous IOs. So it was essential to exhume the remains of the bodies for fresh viscera tests and chemical experiments.

The High Court on April 18 vented frustration over the Detective Branch’s failure in identifying the killer(s) of the journalist couple and ordered to transfer the case to Rab.

It also ordered the home secretary to form two committees to monitor the progress of the Rab investigation and probe whether there had been any negligence by Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police in preserving evidence of the crime.

The committees have been asked to submit their reports within 30 days.

Source: The Daily Star


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