Sagira Morshed murder: Charges against 4 people on Oct 7...

Dhaka, Monday   26 October 2020

Trial after 30 yrs

Sagira Morshed murder case: Charges against 4 incl brother-in-law on Oct 7

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 04:48 PM, 21 September 2020   Updated: 04:49 PM, 21 September 2020

File Photo

File Photo

The court has fixed October 7 for the hearing of charges against four people, including her brother-in-law, in the sensational case lodged for the murder of Sagira Morshed over a family dispute 30 years ago in the capital's Siddheswari.

The case is scheduled to be heard on Monday. However, in response to the plea of ​​the accused's lawyers, Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Kayesh granted the application and fixed a new date.

Earlier on March 9, Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Kayesh accepted the chargesheet filed by the PBI. On January 18, PBI inspector Rafiqul Islam, the investigating officer in the case, filed a 1,309-page chargesheet against four people, including Sagira's brother-in-law, in the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate's Court.

The accused are — Sagira Morshed’s brother-in-law Dr Hasan Ali Chowdhury, his wife Sayedatul Mahmuda Shahin, Plan International Officer Anas Mahmud Rezwan and housing businessman Maruf Reza.

According to the sources, on November 10 last year suspected accused Anas Mahmud alias Rezwan, 53, was arrested from the capital’s Rampura. Then on November 12, Dr. Hassan Ali Chowdhury, 70, and his wife Sayedatul Mahmuda Shahin, 64, were arrested from Dhanmondi — based on his confession. Later on November 13, Md Maruf Reza was arrested from Baily Road’s residence — based on their information.

 The arrestees confessed to their involvement in the killing of Sagira in court. As a result, charges are being filed against the four accused in the Sagira Morshed murder case.

However, since the previous investigating officer had charged a snatcher named Mintu, he has also been named in the chargesheet. But the investigation did not find any details of Mintu’s involvement in the Sagira Morshed murder.

How the murder took place

Sagira lived on the second floor of her ancestral home at 955 no. Outer Circular Road, near Rajarbagh Petrol Pump area in Dhaka. Mahmuda Shahin lived on the third floor.

The dispute between the two families was intensified when the Sagira’s housemaid Jahinur Begum accidentally threw a spit in front of Mahmuda Shahin’s door and Sagira’s protest for throwing dirt from above.

Shahin’s husband Dr. Hasan Ali told the matter to his patient Maruf Reza — a reputed terrorist in the then Sibeshwari area and the nephew of Major General Mahmudul Hasan, the influential Home Minister during Ershad’s term — and asked for his assistance to punish Sagira. 

Dr Hasan Ali Chowdhury paid Tk 25,000 to Maruf Reza to rectified Sagira Morshed. He also sent his brother-in-law Anas Mahmud Rezwan to work as an aide of Maruf Reza.

On July 25, 1989, Anas Mahmud and Maruf Reza chased Sagira by motorcycle. When she arrived in front of the school, they blocked the rickshaw with a motorcycle. Maruf tries to snatch gold earrings and handbags from Sagira.

However, Sagira recognized Anas Mahmud and threatened him. During this, Maruf Reza left Sagir’s handbag and shot Sagira. The first shot was taken by Sagira. The second shot pierced the left chest.

Sagira died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Maruf Reza fired two more rounds and both escaped by the motorcycle.

All the information comes out of a long investigation by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI).

Finding the main witness after 30 years

After receiving a court order to find the main witness, the PBI investigative team brought the case file from the police intelligence department. After investigating the entire incident, the investigating officers visited the site multiple times and upon inquiry, they found that there had been multiple thefts and robberies in the area. But no one was killed.

The only way to ensure the incident to find out the main witness - a rickshaw puller named Abdus Salam, who is currently 55 years old. His address was given in the case file in Jamalpur district. Determining his whereabouts, the sources found that he is currently lived in Dhaka. But no address or phone number was found.

The police then started searching for the elderly rickshaw puller in the rickshaw garages around Viqarunnisa Noon School for months. At one point in searching, the PBI found Abdus Salam.

Later when asking him the matter, Abdus Salam says he knows about this. He was then taken to the police station and questioned. After then the real mystery of the discussed murder case was unveiled.

Noted that Sagira Morshed was a researcher at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).