Home Minister Shahara Khatun yesterday hinted at a positive result any moment in the investigation into the journalist couple murder and urged the media not to spread any rumours regarding the killing or suspects.
She said, “You [journalists] will perhaps get a result any moment as there have been remarkable developments.” She, however, refrained from disclosing any information about the probe findings.
On the other hand, after claiming “substantial progress” in the murder probe on Monday, police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday said no mentionable progress had been made yet.
Meherun Runi, senior reporter of the private TV channel ATN Bangla, and her husband Sagar Sarowar, news editor of another private TV station, Maasranga, were murdered in their West Rajabazar apartment early Saturday.
The home minister yesterday also declined to set a further deadline for the murder investigation to throw up results. She was talking to journalists after addressing the 17th founding anniversary of the Coast Guard at Agargaon.
Asked about her initial 48-hour ultimatum to the law enforcers to find the killers, Shahara said she had mentioned the time frame so that the law enforcers gave importance to the investigation.
She urged journalists to keep away from spreading any rumours regarding the killing or suspects in the investigation.
Meanwhile, three days past the incident, police said they were yet to find any proof of any journalist's involvement in the murder.
“We have not arrested or detained any journalist. We have not even interrogated any media associates on the murder,” Imam Hossain, deputy commissioner of Tejgaon division, said yesterday at a press briefing at the media centre of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
He, however, said police did not know whether other law enforcement agencies, like the Criminal Investigation Department or the Detective Branch of police or Rab had arrested or interrogated any journalist.
Asked about newspaper reports on arresting six people, he said, “If you [the media] talk about detention, I would say we have picked up two security guards and the caretaker of the building the slain couple used to live in.”
He said police yesterday collected documents and information on what Sarowar and Runi had been working on from their offices to see whether there had been any professional issue behind the killing.
They are also collecting the book written by Sarowar, he added.
Rab, however, remained tight-lipped about their progress in the investigation.
Commander M Sohail of Rab's legal and media wing said the agency was yet to dig out any information “that can be reported”.
“We don't want to comment on anyone's detention unless we have adequate information about their involvement,” he said.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Forensic Medicine Department of Dhaka Medical College submitted Sagar and Runi's post-mortem reports to Sher-e-Bangla police on Monday.
"According to the autopsy report, the journalist couple died after being hit with sharp weapons," said Zakir Hossain Mollah, officer-in-charge of the station.
The Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) at a meeting yesterday condemned the gruesome murder and demanded the arrest of the killers.
The meeting also appealed to all editors and journalists in the print and electronic media to adhere to the highest ethical standards of journalism while reporting on the incident and refrain from making any speculative comments.