Sagira Salam murder case cracked open after 30 years

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 11:24, Nov 15, 2019 | Updated : 13:49, Nov 16, 2019

Sagira MorshedThe Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) have cracked open the murder case of a woman killed 30 years ago in Dhaka’s Bailey Road.

Sagira Morshed Salam was killed on Jul 25, 1989, near Viqarunnisa Noon School while she was going to pick up her daughter by rickshaw.

She was shot when she tried to stop a man from snatching her gold bangles. She died on the way to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Three-decades into the murder, the PBI cracked open the case after arresting Hasan Ali Chowdhury, the brother of Sagira’s husband Salam Chowdhury, Hasan’s wife Sayedatul Mahmuda Shaheen, Shaheen’s brother Anas Mahmud Rezwan, and Maruf Reza, in connection with the murder.

Briefing the media on Thursday (Nov 14) evening, PBI chief Banaj Kumar Majumder, citing their statements in court said that Shaheen and her husband conspired to kill Sagira in order to “teach her a lesson.”

A day after the murder Sagira’s husband filed a case with Ramna police and Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Detective Branch was the investigating body of the case.

However, during receiving testimonies of the case, Maruf’s name came up which led to the court ordering an advanced probe into the case. The defendants moved for a stay order on the probe and the case has been frozen since then.

Sagira Morshed Salam (right) is seen with her husband and three daughters in this photo collected from a family album.The case was brought to the court’s attention after Channel-24 reporter Masudur Rahman uncovered it.

“I found information on the case through a source of mine,” Rahman told Bangla Tribune.

Once the news was published them, the court on Jul 11 ordered the PBI to carry out advanced probe following which the arrests were made and confessions recorded.

Banaj Kumar said that the arrests were made after Anas Mahmud, a Plan International employee was arrested on Nov 10.

Although he denied being involved investigations found his involvement which led to the arrests of his sister Shaheen and her husband Hasan Ali Chowdhury.

Citing the confessions, Banaj Kumar said that Maruf, a nephew of retired Maj Gen Mahmudul Hasan, the then home minister of the Jatiya Party government led by HM Ershad, was paid Tk 25,000 to kill Sagira.

On the day of the murder, Anas accompanied Maruf on a motorcycle to Shidheswari Road where Sagira went to pick up her daughter.

He tried to snatch her bag and bangles which led to a scuffle. However, Sagira identified Anas after which she was shot.

Her husband Salam Chowdhury said that his brother tried to pressure him into not pursuing the case. He said that he has received threats over telephone as well.

Banaj Kumar said that the charge sheet against the accused will be filed with the court within two months.