Dhaka, Feb 11 (bdnews24.com) — Forensic experts suspect the murder of the two TV journalist couple was the work of non-professional killers.
ATN Bangla senior reporter Meherun Nahar Runi and husband Golam Mustofa Sarowar, alias Sagar Sarowar, who was news editor with Maasranga Television, were murdered sometime in the early hours of Saturday at their rented flat in west Rajabazar in the capital.
Rapid Action Battalion detectives suspect the assailants might have known the victims and the killing was pre-planned.
"Both bodies have marks of random slashing with knives and other sharp weapons," forensic expert Dr Sohel Mahmud, who conducted the autopsy, told bdnews24.com. "The wounds have led us to suspect that the murderers are not professionals.
"There were 19 large wounds on Sagar's body along with 20-25 small cuts. A knife was found jammed 80 percent into the left side of his chest. We removed it here (during postmortem). The butt of the knife was missing."
Dr Mahmud said there were two deep wounds in Runi's stomach. "Her death was hastened, as a blood vessel was severed," he added.
Their bodies were taken to Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) office after the autopsy. The first namaz-e-janaza was held there, DRU president Shakhawat Hossain Badshah had said earlier.
Information minister Abul Kalam Azad, state minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Workers' Party president Rashed Khan Menon and members of different other political parties and journalists' association paid their last respect there.
Badshah said bodies of the journalist duo were taken to Maasranga TV and ATN Bangla offices respectively for two more janazas.
A third janaza was held at old Dhaka's Nawabpur Road, Sagar's ancestral home. Following the funeral prayers, Sagar and Runi were buried at Azimpur graveyard around 9pm.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia have expressed their condolences over the journalist couple's murder. Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Dhaka University vice-chancellor A A M S Arefin Siddique and scores of others offered their condolences to the bereaved families.
Home minister Shahara Khatun has ordered police and other law-enforcing agencies to step on the gas and arrest those responsible within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, DRU president Badshah, general secretary Sazzad Alam Khan Topu, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JaSaD) president Hasanul Haque Inu, TV Camera Journalists Association, Rangpur Journalist Association, Bangladesh Crime Reporters Association and many others offered their condolences to the grief-stricken relatives.
DRU has announced a three-day mourning programme, which includes human chain protest in front of the National Press Club and wearing of black badges on Sunday morning, programmes seeking salvation for the departed souls after the Asr prayers on Tuesday and a commemoration programme at DRU on Wednesday.
Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station officer-in-charge (OC) Zakir Hossain Mollah had told bdnews24.com that they were killed in the early hours of Saturday. "After waking up around 7am on Saturday, the couple's 5-year-old son 'Megh' found the bodies lying on the floor of their bedroom."
RAB's detective wing head Ziaul Ahsan had also told bdnews24.com, "In the primary investigation, it appears to be a pre-planned act. It also occurred to us that the killers did know them previously."
Quoting 'Megh', 5, the only child of the journalist couple, OC Zakir said, "Megh saw two people in their home after waking up around 7am. He closed the door after they had left. Later, on seeing his parents lying dead he informed his grandmother (who lives nearby)."
"Megh said he saw them (the assassins) at a picnic sometimes ago," he said.
The police official said they also found half-eaten breads and scrambled eggs at the dinning table.
Police, however, have already detained the building's security guard Polash Rudro Paul for questioning.
Detective Branch (DB) police had also quizzed Runi's brothers Nowsher Alam and Nowshid Alam for at least an hour at DB headquarters.