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Journalist Shamsur Rahman’s Murder: Family Waits for Justice After 20 Years

On July 16, 2000 Shamsur Rahman was shot dead by unidentified assailants at his office in Daratana, the heart of Jashore district town in Bangladesh.

I watched a play ‘Waiting for Godot’ written by Samuel Beckett, on the television several years back. In the play two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, were seen engaged in a variety of discussions and encounters while waiting for Godot, who never arrives. The play premiered in Paris on 5th January in 1953.

Relative and colleagues of Shamsur Rahman, the then special correspondent of Daily Janakantha and stringer for BBC Bangla Service, have been waiting for justice for 20 years, since the assassination of the Bangladeshi journalist.

On July 16, 2000 Shamsur Rahman was shot dead by unidentified assailants at his office in Daratana, the heart of Jashore district town in Bangladesh. The incident took place at around 8:10pm on the day.

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 till date.

Selina Akhter Lucky, 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 at 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 Ajmal Hossain, said Sajed Rahman, younger brother and also staff correspondent at Dainik Janakantha.

Local journalists’ organizations, Jashore Press Club, the family and villagers of the deceased chalk out programmes marking the death anniversary of the journalist every year. They voice demands for justice as usual. Time is passing by. And twenty years have passed. But waiting for justice never ends.

They further voiced for justice for the killing of the veteran journalist on Thursday. They did it last year. And nobody knows how long they have to wait. Will Godot come at last?

Saifur Rahman Saif is a Bangladeshi journalist. He works at New Age, a popular newspaper.He contributed a story in Freelance Success Stories published simultaneously from the USA and Canada. He can be reached at saifnewage@gmail.com

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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