By Saifur Rahman SaifWaiting, waiting and waiting- – – . The 23rd anniversary of the death of rebel journalist and also editor of Bangladesh’s Jashore based Bangla daily Runner, RM Saiful Alam Mukul has passed. But justice is out of reach.
On August 30 assassination anniversary of the journalist was observed following programmes by wearing black badges, placing wreaths at the memorial, offering doa mahfil at the grave of the late journalist, and prayer sessions and discussions at Jashore Press Club.
Jashore Press Club, Journalists Union of Jashore, and Jashore Journalists Union organized the programmes separately.
Jashore Press Club president Zahid Hasan Tukun, general secretary Ahsan Kabir, Noor Islam, Saifur Rahman Saif, M Ayub, Akramuzzaman, and other local journalists were addressed in the discussions.Mukul was killed by some unidentified assailants near his residence at Bezpara in the town at around 10 pm on August 30, 1998.
His father Golam Mazed, who was the founding editor of the daily was also killed in torture by the then government during the era of HM Ershad.A case was filed with Jashore Kotwali police station by the victim’s widow Hafiza Akhter Shirin on the next day after the killing without naming the killers. Dulal Uddin Akand, assistant superintendent of police, Criminal Investigation Department produced a charge sheet before a Jashore court accusing 22 persons including Tariqul Islam, former minister and late standing committee member of Bangladesh Nationalist Party on April 23,199. The BNP leader’s name was dropped from the case by the High Court later. The case was abandoned at one stage. The case came back to life in 2005. Maula Box, assistant superintendent of police, CID pressed a supplementary charge sheet inducting two more names. A court in Jashore framed charges accusing 22 people on 15th June 2006 dropping the name of Tariqul Islam and another. The court registered the statements of 25 witnesses in the case in 2010.
On the other hand, relatives and colleagues of Shamsur Rahman, the then special correspondent, Daily Janakantha, and stringer, BBC Bangla Service, have been waiting for justice for over 20 years.
Like them, so many journalists have been killed in Bangladesh. But none gets justice.
On July 16, 2000, Shamsur Rahman was shot dead by unidentified assailants at his office at Daratana, the heart of Jashore district town in Bangladesh. The incident took place at around 8:10 pm on the day. Shamsur Rahman was also a writer of several books.
The incident spurred movement particularly of the journalists in Jashore and also across the country, for which the government made assurance of justice. The assurance is yet to be met to date.
Selina Akhter Lucky, the wife of Shamsur Rahman, filed a case with the Kotwali police after the death of Shamsur Rahman. The Criminal Investigation Department, where the case was later shifted, submitted its charge sheet, accusing 16 people, five of whom were journalists, including Farazi Ajmal Hossain, special correspondent, Daily Ittefaq. In 2005 the case was shifted to the Speedy Tribunal, Khulna.
The case came to a halt as the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court had issued a stay order on the case nine years ago, in response to a petition made by Farazi Azmal Hossain, said Sajed Rahman, younger brother and also staff correspondent, Dainik Janakantha.
Saifur Rahman Saif is a Bangladeshi journalist. He works popular English daily New Age. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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