Mahir Sarowar Megh is the lone survivor of the slain journo couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi. Two bright media stars were crash landed in the Bengalese glorious month of February in 2012.
Megh was the lone witness. Assailants brutally murdered the journalist couple in their bedroom of their rented apartment in the heart of busy, bustling capital city on 11 February 2012. They were two favorite faces in electronic media, and both did extensive creative works in print media also. Immediately after the incident there was a war cry by none less than the person in charge of home affairs: “The killers would be nabbed in 48 hours.” Even the head of the government who knew the couple well also announced her firm conviction that killers whoever might be would be brought to justice at any cost.
But alas five years have whistled past the killers could be tracked down, neither any definite clue could be established. Media will possibly remember them on 10 February. There may be a few more assurances, night riders on electronic media would appear on midnight talk shows. Megh will be the lone sufferer. He alone will be missing most. We who used to know Sagar and Runi intimately are not finding any light at the end of the tunnel any longer. We do not want to believe that the government with all law enforcing agencies, intelligence agencies at its disposal could not find any clue about the killing nor could identify the killers.
This government spearheaded by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has witnessed many brave actions against killers and murderers. We believe that the trial of the self-professed killers of Bangabandhu and his family members, four national leaders could not be completed and convicted criminals executed if not Hasina was in state power. The trial and execution of verdicts of top war criminals of 1971 could not happen unless Hasina were there. Many other incidents of murder, terrorist activities before and after Sagar–Runi could be successfully investigated and tried. But why that of Sagar–Runi is going nowhere.
— IFJ Asia-Pacific (@ifjasiapacific) February 11, 2017
Media started a strong united movement. Under whose assurance, what assurance media became silent? Is there any such power force behind the killing whom state power does not dare to expose? Is there any person involved or is behind the scene whom if exposed may embarrass the media community of close friends and family members of Sagar or Runi? Many such possibilities create puzzles.
Elite force RAB was tasked with investigation under court instruction. The dead bodies were taken out of viscera retesting in American laboratories. A few persons were arrested, many grilled, few are under arrest. But none gave any confessionary statement. Rumors grew wings. Some tried to relate it with controversies over alleged irregularities in assets acquisition in the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Some tried to involve the owner of a TV station. But till not proved with concrete defining evidence in the court of justice gossips would remain as gossip. We still want to keep hoping against hope. We know Sheikh Hasina would not compromise with any killers and conspirators.
Sagar and Runi became close to us along with a group of bright young journalists venturing writing on energy issues. Mollah Amjad, Arun Karmakar, Shahriar Khan were among the first generation energy journalists those grew alongside the development of Bangladesh Energy & Power sector. Runi was in electronic media mostly covering programs of political personalities. She covered many exclusive programs of the present Prime Minister when she was the leader of the opposition. Both Sagar and Runi interviewed me in few occasions in their electronic media. I can remember two such programs. Runi went all the way to our GTCL Demra City Gate station for interviewing me about SCADA control of the National gas grid. Sagar was an anchor of a talk show featuring me and Prof Anu Mohammad debating about coal mining on January 23, 2012 on Maasranga Television. The incident happened only 18 days after our talk show was televised. I still view this recorded talk shows just to listen to the voice of Sagar.
Sagar–Runi became even closer to me when Sagar took up an assignment with Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Bangla program. Sagar launched Energy Bangla, an energy based web portal. I contributed almost regularly for Energy Bangla. Sagar was on the top on my Skype List. We used to chat on Facebook and Google talk. Megh used to pop in the chat occasionally. I miss Sagar, I miss Runi every time I open my computer.
The heinous incident triggered worldwide condemnation and protests. Non-government organizations dealing with human rights as well as Sagar’s friends and colleagues in Germany and Bangladesh launched protest rallies. We heard of some independent sources gathering extensive information about the clue of the murder. Some TV footage of early talks with TV program anchors with little Megh could give some sense of directions about possible killers.
— Arafatul Islam (@arafatul) February 24, 2012
I tried my best to get Megh adopted by a very sympathetic Bangladesh Australian lady living in Perth. She almost got it approved from Australia. But Runi’s mother and brother set condition for it. Ultimately that initiative fell flat. We hope Megh is growing comfortably under intensive care of his grandmother.
Coming back to the trial and punishment of killers, we still believe the process is closing to the point of identifying clues and identifying the killers. This government is not sparing ministers and MPs party cadres if found guilty. Killers are killers, and criminals are criminals. Let the killers of Sagar–Runi, whoever they might be, brought to justice. Let it not be justice denied though being delayed.
Bangladeshi nation must answer the question that the eyes of innocent Megh continue to ask.
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