Jhalakati Judges Killing Case
SC upholds death for militant Arif
Published : Monday, 29 August, 2016 at 11:20 PM Count : 369
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday dismissed a petition filed by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader Asadul Islam alias Arif seeking review of its earlier judgement that upheld his death penalty for killing two judges of Jhalakati in 2005.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha delivered the judgment clearing the way to execute the militant for the horrendous crime.
Arif will walk the gallows to follow six other top militants of the banned militant outfit including its chief Shayakh Abdur Rahman and second in command Siddikul Islam alias Bangla Bhai who were hanged on March 29, 2007.
Senior assistant judges -- Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed -- were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14, 2005 in the wake of a series of violent militant attacks across the country.
The bomber Iftekhar Hossain Mamun, a court employee named Abdul Mannan and milk seller Badshah Mia were also injured in the bombing. A trial court in Jhalakathi on May 29, 2006 awarded death penalty to seven JMB leaders including Abdur Rahman, Bangla Bhai, Asadul and four others in the sensational judges' killing case. The High Court (HC) on August 31 same year upheld their capital punishment after hearing death references.
Later, all the convicts except Arif, who was absconding, had moved the Appellate Division challenging the sentence. But the apex court on November 28 that year rejected their appeals and also upheld the death sentences.
The death penalty of six militants, except Arif, was executed on Mar 29, 2007. The six are: JMB chief Sheikh Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Ataur Rahman Sani, younger brother of Sheikh Rahman, Abdul Awal Molla alias Omar alias Shakil Ahmed, son-in-law of Sheikh Rahman, Amjad Hossain alias Khalid Saifullah and Iftekhar Hasan Al Mamun.
Arief was arrested from Mymensingh on July 10 in 2007. Later that year, he had moved the High Court and the Appellate Division challenging the death sentence. But both courts rejected his appeals and upheld the punishment.
And now on Sunday, his petition to review the death sentence, the last effort to escape the gallows, was rejected by the apex court.