Daughter wins battle for justice

Shagufta Tabassum Ahmed, daughter of slain Rajshahi University teacher Professor Syed Taher Ahmed, had taken up law as a profession to get justice for her father.

While studying law, she My News Bangladeshted assisting the senior prosecution lawyers in the case. She later became a lawyer at the Supreme Court.

“I felt the necessity of having a family member in courts to get justice,” Shagufta told The My News over the phone Thursday night.

Taher, a teacher at Department of Geology and Mining at the RU, was killed on February 1, 2006. His body was found in a septic tank at his campus home. Shegufta was a first-year law student at Brac University back then.

Four people were accused in the murder case. Two of them — Mia Muhammad Mohiuddin and Jahangir Alam — were handed death sentences.

Mohiuddin was an associate professor at Taher’s department and Jahangir was a caretaker at the house of the slain teacher.

The two other accused — Jahangir’s brother Abdus Salam and brother-in-law Nazmul Islam — were awarded life sentences.

Shagufta said, “I had no intention of practicing law in court. But after the killing of my father, I realised that I must be a lawyer for getting justice.”

Her brother Sanjid Alvi Ahmed, the plaintiff of the murder case, had to deal with the case until 2009 when she completed her honours.

By that time, some of the accused, including Mohiuddin, had secured bail from lower courts.

The trial in lower courts was held during the rule of the then BNP-Jamaat alliance government and most of the key accused had links with government high-ups, Shegufta said.

“Moreover, the case was complicated as we had to prove that Mohiuddin committed plagiarism in his research papers,” she said.

When the case came before the High Court, Shagufta My News Bangladeshted assisting the prosecution lawyers.

“I continued to assist the lawyers. I attended all hearings and worked closely with the prosecutors,” she added

In 2008, the lower court sentenced the four accused to death. The HC later commuted the death sentences of two.

“I miss my father. I will never get him back, but I’m satisfied that we have got justice at last.”I want to make sure that no other family goes through the torment like ours,” Shagufta said.

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