RKS murder: 2 years on, prime accused still on run

Kalerkantho Online   

23 April, 2018 13:24 PM

RKS murder: 2 years on, prime accused still on run

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The second death anniversary of Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee (RKS) is being observed with a call for justice for the music and literary works enthusiast as well as all other freethinkers.  

Suspected Islamist extremists hacked the English department teacher to death near his home in Rajshahi exactly two years ago today (April 23).

Hours into the killings of Professor Siddiquee, militant group Islamic State claimed the responsibility for the attack, according to US-based SITE Intelligence Group.

Marking the death anniversary of the popular teacher, different cultural organisations, RU English Department and RU Teachers Association chalked out elaborate programmes, including discussions and human chain.

Several numbers of students and relatives stood silently for two minutes on his murder spot in the city's Shalbagan area around 7:40 am this morning.

Among others, RKS's daughter Rezwana Hasin Shotovi and son Riasat Imtiaz Sourav joined the peaceful programme. 

Rezwana Hasin Shotovi, daughter of the teacher, told the Kalerkantho: "We told the Media repeatedly that the prime suspect of the case is still on the run. It's been two years now, however, unfortunately, no progress has been made yet."

"The main accused is actually a pawn as the murder was designed by a powerful evil force. We want him behind the bar so that the law enforcers can be able to trace the mastermind," she added.

She continued: "The verdict in the case will be delivered on May 8 while he [main accused] is still absconding. In such situation, we have doubt that his absence will affect the verdict. We just want fair judgment."

Some 300 students and teachers brought out a silent procession on the campus at 10am. The procession started from in front of Shahidullah Arts Building, which houses the English department, and ended Mukul Moncho.

Later, Prof Siddiquee's colleagues, students, and family members spoke on the trial progress of the murder case.

Speakers under the theme "no more conflicts, let us converse between ideology," vowed to resist any type of extreme radical forces by holding peaceful and logical conversation on the campus and anywhere in the city.

The students will also lit candles in front of Shahidullah Arts Building at 7pm in memory of the cultural activist.

Prof Siddiquee was hacked to death around 7:40 am while he was waiting for his university bus in the city's Shalbagan area on April 23, 2016. 

Riyasat Imtiaz Sourav, son of the slain professor, later filed a murder case against anonymous people for the attack, which, police said, has similarities with the style of the murder of blogger and secular activists in the past.

Wishing anonymity, a senior official of Rajshahi Detective Branch of Police said the law enforcers tried a lot to conclude the case within the shortest possible time. 

Of eight suspects, three have been killed in different incidents of "crossfire" and four are behind the bars, said the detective.

However, Shariful Islam, an RU English department student and also the prime accused in the case, is still absconding. Using a codename of Khalid, Shariful was found responsible for planning the killing, according to the charge sheet.

Of the three accused, who were killed in “police raids” and “gunfights”, Khairul Islam Payal alias Badhan was killed during the raid on July 1, 2016 at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, and two others -- Nazrul Islam alias Bike Hasan and Tareque Hasan Milu alias Osman, were killed in “crossfire” in Rajshahi and Bogra.

Other accused – Polytechnic institute student Maskawath Hasan Sakib alias Abdullah, RU crop science department student Rahmatullah, Abdus Sattar and Sattar’s son Ripon -- gave confessional statements in the case.