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Journalist couple killed

February 13, 2012

A former Deutsche Welle colleague and his journalist wife were found dead in their apartment in the capital city of Bangladesh on Saturday. Police continue their investigation into the murders.

Mehrun Runi, left, and her husband, Golam Mustofa Sarowar, right
Mehrun Runi, left, and her husband, Golam Mustofa Sarowar, rightImage: DW

Former Deutsche Welle colleague Golam Mustofa Sarowar, better known as Sagar Sarowar, was found dead along with his wife, Mehrun Runi, in their home on Saturday morning.

According to the police, Sarowar had been tied up. Both he and his wife had been stabbed multiple times.

Their bodies were discovered Saturday morning by their 5-year-old son.

Police briefly detained two people for questioning on Saturday, including the security guard of the building, who said he saw no one enter the building after 36-year-old Sarowar returned home from work at around 2:00 am. The motive for the killings is not yet known.

Politicians demand justice

Government and opposition leaders have condemned the killing of the two journalists. On the weekend, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered her condolences and ordered the police to find the perpetrators quickly.

Hassan Mahmood Khandaker, Inspector General of the Police refused to provide information on the investigation while addressing the press on Monday, but said the police had made “considerable progress.”

The couple both worked as journalists. Sarowar worked as a news chief at the Maasranga TV and Runi was a senior reporter for Bangladesh's largest private television station ATN Bangla.

Journalists protest against the murder of the couple in Dhaka
Journalists and politicians demanded the murderers be brought to justiceImage: Harun Ur Rashid Swapan

Remembered by colleagues

Sarowar left Deutsche Welle's Bangla service after three years in Bonn as a radio host and reporter. During this time, he made a name for himself reporting on environmental issues.

Staff at the South Asia department observed a minute of silence to remember the couple on Monday. Grahame Lucas, head of the department expressed his shock at the news. He described Sarowar as a very dedicated journalist. "They were wonderful people," he said. "This was a senseless act and a real tragedy."

Abdullah al-Farooq, head of the Bengla service, said, “It was just eight months ago, they were all here in the department. The whole family with their son, who was wonderful. I always called him 'Hero'…They will be greatly missed and they will remain in our hearts.”

Journalists in Bangladesh have demanded the couple's murderers be brought to justice. The Dhaka Union of Journalists organized a protest rally in the capital on Sunday to protest their deaths.

Author: Sarah Berning
Editor: Grahame Lucas