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Journalist couple stabbed to death in Dhaka

Saturday February 11, 2012 09:07:00 PM, IANS

Dhaka: A Bangladeshi husband-wife journalist duo was stabbed to death by unidentified attackers early Saturday in front of their five-year-old son at their home in a posh locality of Dhaka, officials said. Home Minister Shahara Khatun has ordered the police to trace and arrest the killers within 48 hours.

Meherun Runi was a reporter for ATN Bangla while her husband Sagar Sarwar worked for the Maasranga TV channel as a news editor, and was also correspondent for the Bangla service of German media group Deutsche Welle, according to Xinhua.

Police have not been able to identify the killers or ascertain the motive behind the killing.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Benazir Ahmed said intelligence agencies have begun an investigation.

Witness to the killing, their son Mahi Sarwar Megh said the killers murdered Sarwar first.

The traumatised child telephoned his grandmother around 6.30 a.m. to inform her about the killing, Runi's mother told the Daily Star.

Palash Rudra Pal, a security guard at their apartment, said Runi was at home since Friday evening while Sarwar reached home by an office car around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Nurunnabi, president of the flat association, said he heard screams when he woke up for morning prayers. He immediately called Pal and asked him to see where the sound was coming from.

But Pal could not detect exactly from which apartment the screams came, he said.

Hamida Sultana, a neighbour, said some guests were at the house Friday.

While the guard said he did not see anybody going out or in after Sarwar returned home early Saturday, the register of the flat complex used for keeping records of visitors said a man named Toufiq entered the house at 4.52 p.m. Friday but there was no record when he left.

The Daily Star said the murderers had tied both legs of Sarwar before killing him.

The main door of their rented flat on the top floor of the five-storeyed building -- Shahjalal Rashid Lodge in West Rajabazar area -- was found locked from inside but the kitchen window grill was found cut.

Police arrested two security guards of the building -- Pal and Humayun Kabir -- who were on duty.

Runi's brothers Nawser Alam and Nawdish Alam were also taken for questioning but were released in the evening.

The bodies were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for autopsy.

Home Minister Shahara Khatun, the prime minister's special assistant Mahbubul Haque Shakil, and Maasranga TV chief executive officer Syed Fahim Munaim visited the flat.

Chief of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Khaleda Zia condemned the gruesome killing, saying the country's law and order situation has deteriorated and there was no guarantee of lives of ordinary people.







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(Photo: IANS/Amlan Paliwal)



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