More people and organisations across the country lent voice to the demand for the immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of the killers of Comilla’s college student Sohagi Jahan Tonu as there has been no arrest even after seven days of her murder, reports UNB news agency.
Protesters brought out processions, formed human chains in different parts of the country demanding justice for the college girl.In the capital, a group of Dhaka University students held a protest rally at Raju sculpture on the DU campus around on Sunday afternoon demanding justice for Tonu’s family
Later, they brought out a procession and staged demonstrations blocking roads around Shahbagh intersection around 5:20pm to press home their demand.
In Comilla, students of different colleges, including Comilla Victoria College, the institution the victim belonged to, and Comilla University, took part in a human chain blocking the Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Nandanpur Bishwaroad around 11:30am.
Several thousand students took to the streets demanding exemplary punishment of those responsible. They also placed logs on the road, torched tyers, disrupting traffic movement.
Later, the demonstrators withdrew the blockade around 2:00pm upon assurance by the administration over the arrest of the culprits.
Meanwhile, the long march of Ganajagaran Manch led by its spokesperson Imran H Sarkar reached Pubali Chattar in Comilla city around 4:35pm.
In Faridpur, students of four colleges participated in a human chain on Mujib Road in front of Faridpur Press Club from 11:00am to 11:30am, raising the same demand.
In Laxmipur, ‘Priyo Laxmipur Jela’, a volunteer online organisation, formed a human chain in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in the morning.
In Pirojpur, the residents of the district arranged a human chain on Town Club Road in the district in the morning demanding the same issues.
In Sunamganj, a human chain programme was held at Altaf Squire in the district town at noon demanding justice for Tonu.
Sohagi Jahan Tonu, 19, a second year history student of Victoria College and a member of Victoria College Theatre, went missing on Sunday evening, hours after she had got out of her home at Comilla Mynamati Cantonment for private tuition.
Later, Tonu’s father Yar Hossain found his daughter senseless with severe injuries on her body at a bush adjacent to his home.
She was then taken to Combined Military Hospital where doctors declared her dead. It is suspected that she had been raped before the murder.
Members of the law enforcement have been interrogating the parents and cousin of murdered Sohagi Jahan Tonu, theatre activist and second year history student of Comilla Government Victoria College.
The family alleges that they are under pressure to ‘confess’ that Sohagi was in a relationship with a student of the college.
Sohagi’s mother Anwara Begum, father Mohammed Yaar Khan and cousin Laiju Jahan were speaking on Sunday at the visitors’ room of Comilla cantonment board.
They said they wanted to leave the cantonment area and return to their village home in Mirzapur, Muradnagar.
Seven days have passed since Sohagi was killed on the night of 20 March in the Comilla cantonment area, yet the law enforcement agencies have failed to arrest anyone in this connection. Sohagi’s family was questioned on Friday night and Saturday.
Comilla’s deputy director of RAB-11 Maj. Mohammed Khurshid Alam said a few people had been brought in for questioning.
Sohagi’s mother and siblings were among them. When asked if they had detained anyone, he said that investigations were a continuous process and interrogation was a part of this.
Sohagi’s father, employee of the cantonment board, lodged a case with the Kotwali model police station against unidentified persons regarding the murder. On Friday the case was handed over to the Detective Branch (DB) of police.
Sohagi’s mother Anwara Begum told Prothom Alo, “They keep asking the same question about 80 times, ‘who was Sohagi involved with in Victoria College?’ I would keep watch of my daughter outside of the cantonment, not inside.
This is where she grew up. She would sing and dance in all the programmes. She would do dramas too. Never had anything been said against her. Now that she is no longer here, all these accusations are being made.”
The RAB officials asked why Sohagi’s parents hadn’t got her married off, and asked if her elder brother was involved with anyone else among their relations and such questions. A weeping Anwara Begum said, “Why are they asking such questions? What has all this got to do with Tonu’s murder?”
On midnight Friday, Anwara Begum was taken to the RAB-11 office for questioning. After interrogations, she was taken to the visitor’s room of the cantonment board at dawn. Anwara Begum said, “They initially told me they had caught the murderer and would show me. But later they asked questions and asked my son questions too.”
Sohagi’s father said he was questioned in a similar manner. He said, “I want justice. They are asking me for a name. Who will I name?” He wiped tears from his eyes, saying. “Tonu was my only daughter.
She would love singing and dancing. I always fulfilled her wishes. She wanted to teach singing and dancing in the cantonment schools once she finished her studies.”
Sohagi’s cousin Laiju Jahan said, “They asked me for a name. I told them someone had proposed to Sohagi, but I didn’t say he had murdered her. I never saw him harassing her. He doesn’t even stay here.”