by rahnuma ahmed
I am sooo relieved. Sagar and Runi’s killers have been found.
I am sooo happy. The president has revoked the clemency he’d awarded to Biplab, convicted killer from Laxmipur, it means his life sentence is no longer reduced to ten years, he’ll have to serve the whole term. Ha-ha. Not only that, the president has gone further back, he has withdrawn the earlier pardon in the other murder case, where Biplap had gotten the death sentence. Which means Biplab won’t go scot-free for having killed Nurul Islam. Justice is finally being done! An end to party political machinations, of rewarding thuggery and killing just because they belong to the ruling party.
I am sooo thrilled, just like everyone else. I woke up feeling so good, I had this sunshine smile on my face. Being a Bangladeshi has never felt better! Its even better than our cricket team winning, or Yunus getting the Nobel Peace Prize.
And the big-gest relief is, it’ll finally put an end to all those horrible conspiracy theories, I was getting sick of the stuff, endless speculation about whether, being journalists, one of them had uncovered an energy deal made backdoor (what’s backdoor anyway, they’re all an open secret), or whether it was an extra-marital affair, or whether arrests hadn’t been made because higher-ups were involved, people close to the prime minister. I’d even heard rumors that these big shots were media tycoons, that a deal had reportedly been struck, favorable election reporting in exchange for foot-dragging the investigation till the public forgets. It wouldn’t have been the public’s fault if they did, what with one horror story after another, the Saudi embassy official’s murder being the latest, but anyways, now with Sagar-Runi’s killers having been arrested (and the police did say, they wouldn’t go for an arrest until they were a “hundred percent” sure), and Biplab’s clemency having been revoked (a bit of an embarassment if you look at it objectively, for it seems the president doesn’t know right from wrong, but we’ll forgive him for that, these things do happen, even to those in top positions), now that all these ‘mistakes’ have been righted, we can put a lid on all the nonsensical speculation, all those absurd conspiracy theories. I hate the stuff. Such a waste of time, really. All those comments in Facebook, Awami fayshibaad, sooo pessimistic.
No more speculation about Jaj miahs either, about the government manufacturing ‘killers,’ picking up innocent people, hanging big crimes on ’em, while intelligence agencies pay their families on the sly, but the High Court ruling had put an end to all ill-informed speculation anyways, but umm yes, only after the petitioner had spoken at length about the ills of the BNP-Jamaat administration which had orchestrated the Jaj miah stuff, that didn’t go down well with many. Had seemed a bit like the Parliament, where MPs are given the floor, and extra time too, to trash the opposition, to personally bitch about Khaleda Zia.
And oooh yes, that reminds me, Khaleda Zia too has expressed her sorrow, in a press release she’s said, she dint mean to capitalise on the killing, on the government’s obvious discomfort at being forced to foot-drag the investigations. She said, the big turnout at her rally in Lamonirhat had made her heady, had made her say things like the journalist duo had uncovered “corruption” info about the government, that this was a “killer” government. Hawa Bhaban and Jaj Miah, the press release says, had slipped her mind. She’s asked the public to pleaaase delete what she’d said from its memory. Hmm, as a gesture of goodwill, the public just might.
I’m so delighted at how things are turning out! At last, the nation might become a happy family, but the best news of course is the home minister Shahara Khatun’s resignation. Oolala, what grace, what dignity! Even though the killers have now been found, she insists on resigning cuz it took much longer than her promised “48 hours.” She doesn’t think she’s fit to be in charge of the home ministry. And, wonder of wonders, instead of citing ‘personal reasons,’ as is often the case (there was one exception though, Ayub Quadri, advisor to the caretaker government), she’s decided to eat humble pie, she’s applying for a fourth class employee vacancy, she’ll carry files from one desk to another until the nation forgives her…, but maybe I’m rushing a bit, for the last bit is hearsay, not confirmed news yet. I promise to keep you posted.
And of course, its wonderful of the prime minister to clarify what she’d meant by “bedroom security.” In an interview to the New York Chimes, she’s said, she herself, being very privacy conscious, bedrooms being ahum the place where people do those things, matters one mustn’t speak of in front of children, stick to the stork story instead, that securing sexual satisfaction is really up to the parties concerned, not for the government to interfere, but as far as bedrooms are rooms, dwellings, the government obviously cannot absent itself from murders there. Of course, the killers must be found, brought to trial, respect for law-and-order must be upheld.
She’s also expressed her sadness, how could anyone, she said, anyone, even think that she had meant otherwise, given her family history of political assassination, all family members being killed, some having been dragged out of their bedrooms. She reportedly wiped away a tear when she said this, the NYC interviewer was sensitive enuff to tuck it in, I’m sooo pleased, cuz you never know with these western journalists, they often miss the subtleties, being so puffed up with their own self-importance.
And now for the police bigshot, sorry, I’ve forgotten his name, but I saw him on telly last night, he did look a bit sheepish though, he said, after having received the green signal from higher-ups, after the honorable prime minister had made all the right connections — between ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ and the ‘1975 assassination’ — they had rushed off and picked up the killers. It’d taken only an hour, he said. Quite a feat if you think of the traffic jam but I guess they had the siren on, oooh, just like LA cops-style. I’m so proud of our police force, but we knew it all along, once you lift the political pressure, they never, almost never, fail.
There’s mo-o-o-re news, a friend’s rung up to tell me, the HC too — they’d been having second thoughts since their ruling, press reports that the HC is “happy” with the government investigation had made them uncomfortable, the public might be wondering whether the judiciary is really independent — so, the HC is now seeking the opinion of five amicus curiae. Isn’t that great? One can only bow one’s head in respect to the lordships!
And the journalists, who’d demanded the immediate arrest of the killers, had struck down their pens for an hour, well, they’ve withdrawn their call for waging a movement! They’ve decided to work an extra hour to pay back, they’ll devote it to highlighting the achievements of the Awami League government. Sooo positive of them, don’t you think? And those who’d flashed pics of Megh, Sagar and Runi’s 7-year old son, in both print and electronic media, editors, news editors, all of ’em have expressed their regret, they’ve promised to memorise the International Convention on Child Rights by heart.
But two things niggle, I haven’t been able to work them out yet, why should the owner of the TV channel where one of them had worked, apologise to the police..? It seems he’d publicly cautioned the police right after the killing, to catch the “genuine” killers, to not produce fabricated ones in court as they had done, after the death of a photojournalist. Such public cautioning is okay, no? Why, secretly apologise to the police, now? Umm, I wonder.
And also, why should a leading woman journalist and reporter with a TV channel, who’d interviewed Megh, say she refuses to even look at the International Convention, such a pity really, I could have sent her my copy if she’d wanted. Some people just like to sour up things.
A citizen’s committee has been formed, to go and garland the president for finally proving that he’s the nation’s — and not the ruling Awami League’s — president, which again is very positive, good deeds must be acknowledged, especially something as momentous as this. There’s some tussle over netritto though, over who should head the committee, whether a public rally should be held, or just a small representation of eminent citizens (but of course with all the TV cameras present).
From what I’ve heard, Hanif, the Awami League’s joint general secretary, is in favor of organising a Dhaka cholo, of people pouring into Dhaka from all corners of the nation, specially chartered buses, launches etc., of holding a mass rally at Paltan, then marching to Bangobhaban but with a slight detour at Road 32 (not slight cuz they’d have to trek a mile or two or three out of the way, and then go back to nearly where they started), but party seniors have reportedly brushed off his suggestions. They’re in favour of the committee being led by the Dhaka university’s vice-chancellor, they want to give it a more sophisticated gloss. Let’s see how that pans out. I’m not at all put off by these trifling quibbles.
The prime minister’s son too, seems to have contributed his bit. I’ve heard he’s sent an e-mail to western diplomats in Dhaka, but no copies to the media, so no one knows what he had to say. Aw shucks, I guess we’ll have to wait for WikiLeaks.
But may be, I’ve been day-dreaming. Have I?
Published in New Age, Monday March 12, 2012