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20th-Jun-2018

Death of another prosecution witness : Too difficult to accept as an accident

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NO sooner had the Eid vacation come to an end but another murder shocked us all. The decapitated body of Sumon Zahid, a witness in a war crimes case and also the son of martyred journalist Selina Parvin was found dead in the capital's Khilgaon the day before yesterday. There were bruises on his forehead, face and back, apparently due to him being hit by a train. Railway police recovered the body from near the railway tracks in Bagicha area of Khilgaon, around one kilometre off Sumon's Uttar Shahjahanpur house.
Apparently, the victim was in perfect mental health. There had been no report of any personal crisis or frustration either. The last time the victim received death threats was about a month ago. Sources said Sumon lodged a GD with Shahjahanpur police station on July 21 last year, seeking measures for his safety. It's further reported that a police patrol team used to visit Sumon's house to enquire about his safety on a regular basis. Yet, the police failed to save his life. Nevertheless, what's baffling is that the officer-in-charge of the police station reported that the victim talked to some children prior to his decision to commit suicide. This strange pattern of behaviour just minutes before committing suicide is extremely unusual.
The point, however, the police must thoroughly investigate the actual reason of his death. If it was a murder, the culprits must be identified and handed with exemplary punishment. Sumon's death is not the first one following a series of deaths of very important prosecution witnesses. Wahidul Alam Junu, who testified against war criminal Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, also died in mysteriously in February 2013. Mostafa Hawlader, who testified against war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee, had been killed by Jamaat-Shibir men at his home in 2013. Besides, police also recovered the body of Ahmed Miraz, younger brother of noted musician and freedom fighter Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul in the same year.
We have enough reasons to believe that all these deaths are intricately linked. Last but not least, since it was the current government which initiated the war crimes tribunal, it should have offered extra security protection to Sumon Zahid following three similar deaths. We fail to understand why it didn't happen.