Sagira Morshed murder: Trial begins after 31yrs...

Dhaka, Friday   22 January 2021

Sagira Morshed murder: Trial begins after 31yrs

 Staff Correspondent daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 01:09 PM, 2 December 2020  

Sagira Morshed; File Photo

Sagira Morshed; File Photo

A court today has framed charges against four people, including brother-in-law, in the sensational Sagira Morshed murder case in the capital’s Siddheswari. With this, the formal trial of the case started after 31 long years.  

The court of Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Kaye dismissed the plea of the defendant’s petition for exemption on Wednesday.

The accused in the case are – Sagira’s brother-in-law Dr. Hasan Ali Chowdhury, his wife Sayedatul Mahmuda, Mahmuda’s brother Anas Mahmud alias Rezwan and Contract killer Maruf Reza.

On the day, the accused in jail were produced before the court. Defendant Maruf Raza then pleaded for exemption from the case on behalf of his lawyer. 

The state, on the other hand, held a hearing in favor of the chargesheet. After hearing both the parties, the court framed charges against the accused and ordered for trial proceedings.

Earlier on 26 November, the lawyers of Sagira’s brother-in-law Dr. Hasan Ali Chowdhury, his wife Sayedatul Mahmuda, Mahmuda’s brother Anas Mahmud alias Rezwan appealed for exemption from the case. At the time, Maruf Raza’s lawyer also appealed for exemption. Later, the court adjourned the partial hearing and fixed 2 December for further hearing.   

Earlier on 9 November, the lawyers of the accused pleaded to adjourn the proceedings as one of their lawyers was absent on health grounds. Later, the court granted their plea and fixed November 26 for the hearing. 

On 9 March, the court accepted the chargesheet against four accused, including Sagira’s brother-in-law and his wife, filed by Investigation Officer and Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) Inspector Rafikul Islam on 16 January.

Sagira Morshed, 34, was gunned down by unidentified muggers in front of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in the capital’s Bailey Road on July 25, 1989.

Sagira’s husband Salam Chowdhury filed the case on that day with Ramna Police Station against unidentified miscreants. A rickshaw puller present at the crime scene identified two of the killers, but police had filed the initial charge sheet against one Montu. 

Dhaka First Additional Sessions Judge Abu Bakar Siddique on January 17, 1991, framed charges against Montu and testimonies of seven witnesses were also recorded.

But during the hearing, the prosecution alleged the name of Maruf Reza, close relative of then home minister Mahmudul Hasan, came up during the investigation and was also arrested. But his name was dropped from the charge sheet.

Following a plea of the prosecution, the court on May 23, 1991, ordered for further investigation. But the proceeding of the case was stayed by the High Court as Maruf Reza filed a petition, challenging the further investigation order.

But the High Court on June 26, 2019, cleared the way for continuing the murder case as it dismissed the rule that had stayed the trial proceedings.

A High Court division bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order, asking PBI to conduct further investigation in the case and complete it within 60-working days.

PBI after that arrested the four and they have already confessed their role in the killing of Sagira.  

DailyBangladesh/AS