On Sunday, February 12th, the Daily Star, which is the first Bangladeshi Internet daily, reported that a journalist couple was murdered in their residency building in Dhaka. The couple’s five year old son found Sagar Sarowar and his wife, Meherun Runi, stabbed to death in their bedroom early Saturday morning. Sagar was the news editor for the private TV channel Maasranga and was stabbed 28 times, while Meherun, who was a senior reporter for ATN Banlga, was stabbed five times before both were killed, according to an autopsy report.
In the past three years, 25 media personnel have been killed and none of them have had their killers brought to justice. This time, the Home Minister, Shahara Khatun, has given law enforcement 48 hours to find and arrest the murderers of the couple. Meanwhile members from the Dhaka Union of Journalists and the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) have formed a human chain in front of the National Press club on Sunday demanding that the couple’s killers are found within the 48 hour time frame given by the Home Minister. Khatun is therefore under pressure to maintain her word as angry and frightened journalists have promised to take over the streets and demand her resignation if the killers are not arrested.
As of now, investigators believe that financial dealings may be a factor in the murder of Sarowar and Runi, but police will not make any arrests until they have more evidence on the current “persons of interest.” But though the arbitrary 48-hour deadline has passed, there have not been any reports about journalist retaliation against the government. Apparently the investigatory effort, this time at least, seems credible.
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