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Sohagi Jahan Tonu

No headway in Tonu murder case

WT24 Desk

Though 26 months have elapsed since the murder of Comilla Victoria College student Sohagi Jahan Tonu, the investigation into the gruesome killing continues to languish without any progress, reports UNB.

Family members and locals expressed their anger and frustration as the police have even failed to name any suspect, let alone make any arrests.

Meanwhile an announcement by home minister Asaduzzaman Khan earlier this month that “the mystery behind Tonu murder case will be revealed soon” seems to have come to nothing.

The minister had come up with the announcement while talking to reporters after a programme at the Daffodil University campus on 5 May.

Tonu, a second-year history student at CVC and active member of Victoria College Theatre, also worked part-time as a private tutor. She was found dead in a wooded part of the Cumilla Mainamati Cantonment on 20 March 2016 after she failed to return home from one of her private tuition classes.

Her murder sparked a huge public outcry and people from home and abroad demanded justice.

 Physicians at the forensic department of Cumilla Medical College Hospital conducted two autopsies on her body but their reports failed to mention any clear cause of death.

In May 2016, the CID – which was handed the case the previous month – revealed that bodily fluids (semen) of three individuals had been found on Tonu’s clothes – but the public has been kept in the dark regarding any tests the agency might have done to match the DNA samples found in the clothing with any suspect.

CID officials last conducted a daylong interrogation of Tonu’s father Yaar Hossain, mother Anwara Begum, cousin Laizu and brother Mizan at the CID office in Dhaka on last 22 November 2017. According to the family it was all just about rehashing old information, and they learnt nothing new.

Some weeks prior to that, on 25-27 October, CID apparently interrogated three individuals “suspected by Tonu’s mother” inside the Dhaka Cantonment. CID refused however to divulge their names, indicating they may have included serving army officers stationed at the Cumilla Cantonment.

Tonu’s family, particularly her mother, have repeatedly demanded that two army officers of Comilla Cantonment named Zahid, (one of them a sergeant where Tonu had gone for tuition, the other remains unclear), be taken in for interrogation, along with Zahid’s wife.

Akbar Masum, general secretary of Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan) Cumilla unit, said, “An enthusiastic girl was killed and after 26 months, her killers are yet to be identified. Imagine what kind of society we are living in.”

The case has been lying with the CID for long without substantial progress, said Gonojagoron Mancha Cumilla unit organiser Khairul Alam Raihan.

Tonu’s brother Anwar Hossain said, “My sister was killed when she went to Sergeant Zahid’s house for tuition (she taught Zahid’s children). So, Zahid and his wife should be interrogated over the murder.”

“If needed we will meet with prime minister Sheikh Hasina to request her to arrest the killers,” he further said. Investigation officer of the case senior police superintendent of CID Jalal Uddin Ahmed said they will keep interrogating people which may take another two or three months.

“We’re working to identify the killers of Tonu,” he said.

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