A year ago from today, Shohagi Jahan Tanu, a college girl and theater activist was raped and killed on Comilla cantonment premises. It is a matter of utter disappoint the nation still await justice for Tanu. According to a New Age report on Monday, Criminal Investigation Department officials, responsible for investigating the case, said that they were yet to identify the killers and the motive for the killing. The body of the victim was found in a bush nearby her house inside the cantonment a few hours after she had left her house to give tuition at two houses in the area on March 20, 2016. The case filed by her father with the local police station was transferred to CID on March 28, 2016 for better handling. What is more important to say is that the investigators at one point confirmed that they had DNA of three men as evidence for this case. This incited some hope that the killers would be identified soon. However, Tonu’s father, an employee of the Comilla Cantonment Board, has alleged that the investigators now neither share any findings nor discuss anything with them. All this has reasons to give rise to fear among members of the victim’s family in particular that the case may ultimately face the fate of the gruesome murder of the journalist couple Sagar and Runi or the fate of abducted Jumma activist Kalpana Chakma.
A year later, the investigators have so far failed to make any progress in the journalists’ murder, although the then home minister assured the victims’ relatives of finding out the killers within 48 hours. Allegations have it that assailants of the journalist couple might have links with some influential quarters. It is important to note that like the Sagar-Runi murder, the Tonu murder also shook the nation triggering huge public protests. Besides, the home minister vowed on several occasions to immediately crack the mystery behind the murder. However, the fact remains that the victim’s body had to be exhumed for second autopsy upon a court order as the first autopsy report failed to identify the reasons for the murder. Mysteriously still, even the second autopsy report neither determined the cause of her death nor confirmed whether she was raped before the death although, as mentioned above, the investigators found evidence of the rape through DNA tests. One can recall here that despite the current investigation officer claiming that they had already interrogated 105 people, including some army personnel, his predecessor earlier alleged inadequate cooperation from the relevant authority, especially when it came to conducting DNA profiling of the three army personnel named by Tonu’s mother as suspects in the murder.
In any case, the government should immediately live up to its words given earlier and ensure justice for Tonu. It needs to realise that it is there to establish the rule of law in the country not to provide impunity for some quarters, no matter how influential they are.
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