Journalists' leaders said they would form a "Sangram Parishad", or movement council to press for quicker progress on the murder case of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi.
The parishad will coordinate with several existing journalist associations within the next month in a bid to foment a more aggressive movement for justice in the murder case, Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) President Mursalin Nomani told a rally Thursday.
The rally was organised to mark the ninth anniversary of Sagar-Runi murder. The journalist couple was murdered at their rented flat in Dhaka in 2012.
The erstwhile Home Minister Shahara Khatun promised that the killers would be captured within 48 hours. But nine years on, the investigating agency is yet to submit its report.
Many argued that there would be pressure to complete the investigation quickly if the journalist associations could present a united front for their slain colleagues.
DRU President Nomani said, "The submission of the investigation report has been deferred 78 times so far. It demonstrates the state of the justice system in our country."
"We have done almost everything in our fight for justice in this murder case. Though the erstwhile home minister declared that the murderers would be arrested within 48 hours, justice still eludes us," he added.
Nomani promised to continue their movement until justice is served.
Citing the deceased families, he said mothers of the slain journalists called on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) - investigating agency of the case - to hand over the investigation to another entity.
"Every time RAB have appealed, the court has granted them extensions. But we have not even received the investigation report."
"In our society, with the exception of the murderers of journalists, all killers are tried," Nomani concluded.
During the demonstration, Rezwanul Haque, vice-president of the Jatiya Press Club and head of news at Maasranga Television, expressed deep concern and disappointment that the investigation has yet to conclude.
"We do not want to be disappointed anymore," he said.
Runi's younger brother and also plaintiff of the murder case, Nowsher Noman said, "We do not want to come here for a demonstration every year. We want a fair trial for the double murder. We want the investigation report to be published immediately."
Sagar was a news editor of private television channel, Maasranga, and Runi was a senior reporter for ATN Bangla. When the couple was killed, their only five-year-old son Mahir Sarwar Megh was in the apartment.
The case was handed over to RAB on April 18, 2012, after Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police and Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) were initially tasked with the investigation.