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Bangladesh: Captors of Oyasiqur’s killers fear being named

Friday 3 April 2015, by siawi3


Adil Sakhawat

A day after two trangendered people helped to capture two of Oyasiqur Rahman Babu’s three killers, the Begunbari transgender community to which they belong yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that the duo would not be publicly identified for fear of reprisals.
Two third-gender people, helped by other Begunbari residents, succeeded in capturing alleged killers, Jikrullah and Ariful Islam, before handing them over to police.
Oyasiqur was brutally hacked to death by three Islamist extremists wielding machetes.
The heroines of the day now fear for their lives. Members of their community told the Dhaka Tribune that if their names are published, they may be killed in revenge.
The Dhaka Tribune yesterday spent the day with the area’s transgender community led by Sapna Hijra, discussing their feats and fears in the aftermath of Oyasiqur’s murder.
They spoke as a group and did not divulge who among them actually took place in snaring the murderers.
Sapna Hijra is an influential person in the Begunbari area where the killing took place, and leads the trangender community that lives there.
At the time of the murder, they said, five transgender people were out collecting money from shops in the Begunbari area, as they do every week.
When they saw Oyasiqur’s attackers running away, the hijras chased them, grabbing two while the third got away.
Police have said the two arrestees confessed to a role in the murder of Oyasiqur, but Begunbari’s transgender community remains wary of divulging too much to the media.
One trangender person told the Dhaka Tribune: “Our Guru Ma [Sapna Hijra] is now away from Dhaka. Without her permission we will not tell you who among us caught those killers that day.â€
“The killers’ accomplices might attack us if we disclose their names to you,†another member of the community said.
When told that the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) wanted to reward the duo for their bravery, the community still refused to tell the Dhaka Tribune their names.
Tejgaon Zone Police Deputy Commissioner Biplob Kumar Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: “We are looking for the two that caught the criminals to thank them. We have not yet found out who they are.â€
Sapna Hijra, speaking to the Dhaka Tribune over the phone yesterday, said: “When I return to Dhaka, I will find out who caught the killers and then I can tell you their names.â€
DMP Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam told reporters: “We are thinking about rewarding them for their courageous work. We applaud such bravery.â€