Monday, February 11, 2013

One year after Sagor and Runi Murdered.

Journalists Call for 24 hours Strike 

By Anwar Hossain; Journalists of all print, electronic and online media will go on a 24-hour strike from 6:00am on March 11 demanding trials for the killing of all journalists including Sagor-Runi, safety for the news media people and a free press in the country. President of Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury announced the programme from a grand rally of journalists held in front of the National Press Club on Monday.

The journalist community will also observe a hunger strike on the National Press Club premises on the same day. Family members of the slain journalists including Sagor Sarwar, Meherun Runi and Balu will also join the journalists in their hunger strike, Chowdhury said.

He warned that a tougher action would be taken at the next rally to be held at the same venue on March 11, if the government fails to implement their demands.

The rally was organised jointly by both factions of Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), National Press Club (NPC) and Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) to mark the completion of one year of journalist couple Sagor-Runi’s murder.

Various media organizations and personalities expressed their solidarity with the ongoing movement of the journalists demanding holding of trials for Sago-Runi’s murder.

BFUJ leaders Ruhul Amin Gazi, Shawkat Ali, Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, DUJ leaders—Abdus Shahid, Omar Faruk, Baker Hossain and Saban Mahmud, JPC president Kamal Uddin Sabuj and general secretary Abdal Ahmed, DRU president Shahed Chowdhury, News Today editor Reaz Uddin Ahmed and CRAB general secretary Abu Saleh Akand spoke at the rally which was moderated by DRU general secretary Ilyas Khan.

Sagar Sarowar, the news editor at the private TV channel Maasranga, and his wife Meherun Runi, a senior reporter for ATN Bangla, were brutally killed at their West Rajabazar flat in the city in the early hours of February 11 last year. Their only son, five-year-old Mahir Sarowar Megh fortunately escaped.

The investigation being carried out by DB, RAB and other intelligent agencies found no headway into the killing of the journalist couple so far.

Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said the journalist community has been continuing their movement for last one year with support from people of all spheres of the society but unfortunately they are not getting justice. “We, the journalists publish or broadcast news on the killings of people but we cannot get justice if our colleagues are killed. So, naturally the question arises whether there is any rule of law in the country” noted Chowdhury.

The BFUJ leader said the prime minister assured the journalists’ leaders that the killers of Sagor-Runi however powerful they are would be arrested and brought to justice.

Who are so much powerful that the law enforcers cannot arrest them even after the prime minister’s assurance? he questioned and said that RAB still seeks more time after carrying out their investigation into the sensational murder case for last 10 months. “We want to know how much more time RAB needs to complete their investigation into the Sagor-Runi murder case. Question will automatically arise about the sincerity and skill of the RAB if they fail to complete the investigation,” he observed.

Ruhul Amin Gazi said the repression on journalists goes on as the government failed to bring the perpetrators of Sagor-Runi’ murder to book.

Accusing the Home Minister of his failure to arrest the killers of Sagor-Runi couple, he said, “You (minister) cannot nab the killers; but you want to play with journalists.” Gazi also issued a warning that tougher action would be taken if the killers of the journalist couple are not arrested immediately.

Shawkat Mahmud termed the government stance over the investigation into the journalist couple murder case as a “drama.” Time will come when we will try the killers at the “Democracy Square” in front of the NPC and those who are creating obstacle in carrying out the investigation, he said.

Kamal Uddin Sabuj said the government needs to remove the suspicion from the minds of the journalists it has created centering the investigation into the Sagor-Runi murder case.

Reaz Uddin Ahmed said the demand for holding trial of the killers of Sagor-Runi has now turned into a national demand. “If the government tries to shift the investigation in another direction, the people will never accept it,” he added.

Meanwhile, the family members of the slain journalist couple Sagar Sarwar and Mehrun Runi visited their graves at Azimpur Cemetery in the city on Monday on the occasion of their first death anniversary.

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