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Munia murder: Tribunal summons investigating officer to explain inaction

  • Published at 10:34 pm October 9th, 2021
File photo of Mosarat Jahan Munia Collected

The 21-year-old’s family has brought rape and murder charges against Bashundhara Group chairman, managing director and six others

The special tribunal to protect women and children in Dhaka has summoned the investigating officer of the Munia murder case to appear before it in person on Sunday to explain, to the court’s satisfaction, the lack of visible progress on four particular points of the case, including why No.1 accused Sayem Sobhan Anveer has not been arrested yet. 

Bashundhara Group Managing Director (MD) Sayem Sobhan Anvir and the other seven accused in the rape-and-murder case of Mosarat Jahan Munia, a 21-year-old  college student with whom Anveer was carrying on an extramarital relationship at the time of her death, in Gulshan last April. The court would also ask for the IO’s explanation on what is preventing the arrest of the others.

Besides, the court would also seek an explanation of why the DNA of Anveer (or anyone else) has not been matched with DNA samples collected from Munia’s body, room, or clothes, nor to confirm whose child she was carrying. Post-mortem report confirmed she was 2-3 weeks pregnant.

Also, police did not seize enough CCTV footage of the house where Munia lived in Gulshan and the surrounding buildings to learn who went in and out of the apartment on the day of her death, last April 26. The court will also seek explanation on this.

Also Read - PBI told to file report in Munia rape-murder case on November 2

The court directed the IO, PBI inspector Golam Moktar Ashraf Uddin , to appear in-person and explain these four points after a petition was filed by Advocate Masud Salahuddin, the lead counsel for Nusrat Jahan Tania, Munia’s elder sister and sole guardian in the world, who is the plaintiff in the case.

Meanwhile, former model Faria Mahabub Piyasha, the no.7 accused who became the first person to be remanded across two cases over Munia’s death, was sent back to jail on Thursday after two days in remand through the court. She was already in police custody for her involvement in an unrelated case.

The IO in his forwarding report to the court said Piyasha gave important information about the incident which was being verified.

But according to Masud Salahuddin, when Tania as the plaintiff called the IO to enquire, he told her they were having difficulty managing women officers to interrogate Piyasha satisfactorily.

“So we entered a petition with the court seeking explanation on those four points,” Masud Salahuddin told UNB.

Also Read - Multiple injuries were found on Munia’s body, High Court says citing autopsy report

It may be mentioned here that two of the accused, Ibrahim Ahmed Ripon (no.8), the owner of the flat where Munia lived (and where she was found killed), and Sabrina Sobhan (no.3), Anveer’s wife, have secured anticipatory bail from the High Court, although the same was rejected in the case of Anveer.

When Anveer’s counsel Yusuf Hossain Humayun was arguing on his behalf during the hearing on September 29, the senior judge of the bench stopped him and said  "The autopsy report says there were multiple injury marks on the body. We have several other matters to hear. For now we are granting bail to one of the accused [Sabrina]."

While rejection of anticipatory bail does not necessarily compel the arrest of a person by the investigating agency, the reference to the injury marks in the court’s observation is said to be highly indicative of its own interpretation of the case.

As police continued to dither and over a week had passed,  the order was passed summoning the IO to explain his actions, or inaction, on Wednesday, October 6, the same date when the investigation report of PBI in the case was due, but the IO did not even show up  on the court premises.

Apart from the summons to the IO, a new submission date of November 2  was also set for PBI’s investigation report.