Aug 21 grenade attack
Tarique gets life imprisonment, Babar-Pintu to die
Published : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018 at 12:33 PM Count : 1541
A tribunal in Dhaka on Wednesday awarded BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and 18 others life imprisonment while 19 including former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister for Education Abdus Salam Pintu death penalty in August 21 grenade attack cases.
Besides, 11 government officials accused in the case received different jail terms.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin of the Speedy Trial Tribunal (STT)-1 at Old Dhaka's Nazimuddin Road pronounced the verdict around 12:13 pm.
The others who were given death penalty are: the then DGFI Director Major General (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, then NSI Brigadier General (retd) Abdur Rahim, Mohammad Hanif, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, Sheikh Abdus Salam, Abdul Mazed, Maulana Shawkat Osman, Mahibullah alias Mafizur Rahman, Maulana Abu Taher, Maulana Abu Sayeed, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Abul Kalam Azad, Mainuddin Sheikh alias Abu Zandal, Ujjal alias Ratan, Hossain Ahmed Tanim, Sheikh Abdus Salam and Abdul Malek.
All the condemned convicts were also fined Tk 1 lakh each.
The other lifers are: Shahadat Ullah alias Jewel, Maulana Abdur Rauf, Sabbir Ahmed, Tarik Hasan Sumon, Hafez Maulana Yeahia, Abu Bakkar, Ariful Islam, Mahibul Muttakin, Anisul Mursalin, Mohammad Khalil, Jahangir Alam Badar, Iqbal, Liton, then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's political secretary Abul Harris Chowdhury, Shah Moazzem Hossain Kaikobad, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman, Mufti Abdul Hye and Ratul Ahmed.
The court fined them Tk 50,000 each, in default, they will have to serve one more year in jail.
The tribunal sentenced former IGPs Ashraful Huda and Khuda Baksh Chowdhury, Shahidul Haque, Lt Commander (retd) Saiful Islam Duke, Lt Colonel (retd) Saiful Islam Zoardar, Major General (retd) ATM Amin, ex-DIG Khan Sayeed Hasan, former police supers Obaidur Rahman Khan and Ruhul Amin, ASPs Abdur Rashid and Musnhi Atiqur Rahman to two years' imprisonment. They were also fined Tk 50,000 each, in default, to suffer six months more in jail.
Of the convicts, Tarique Rahman, Mursalin, Mahibul, Khalil, Jahangir, Iqbal, Liton, then Prime Minister Political Harris Chowdhury, Kaikobad, Shafiqur, Abdul Hye, Ratul, Saiful Islam, ATM Amin and Sayeed Hasan were tried in absentia.
UNB says, talking to reporters after the verdict, Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajal said they also sought death penalty for Tarique Rahman in the cases. "We'll appeal against the judgment with the higher court," he said.
Kajal said the fugitives will be brought to justice.Meanwhile, defence lawyer Sanaullah Mia said they were disappointed at the verdict.He claimed that Tarique Rahman is innocent.Replying to a query, Sanaullah said the verdict against Tarique will be challenged once he returns home.
Our court correspondent adds : A gruesome grenade attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally organized by Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital during the BNP-Jamaat regime, aiming to kill then opposition leader, incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on August 21 in 2004.
On the following day of the incident, Sub Inspector Faruk Hossain, Awami League leader (late) Abdul Jalil and Saber Hossain Chowdhury filed three cases with Motijheel Police Station in this connection.
After a caretaker government came to power on June 11 in 2008, the Senior ASP of CID Fazlul Kabir submitted two charge sheets accusing 22 people, including HUJI leader Mufti Hannan and former Deputy Minister Abdus Salam Pintu.
The court framed charges against 22 people on October 29 in 2008 and recorded statements of 61 witnesses.
The court on August 12 in 2009 ordered further investigation in the cases during the trial following prosecution’s plea.
New investigation officer and Special Superintendant of Police of CID Abdul Kahar Akand on July 3 in 2011 submitted two separate supplementary charge sheets, one for murder and another under Explosive Substances Act, accusing more 30 people including BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman. With 30 people total accused stood at 52.
On March 18 in 20018, the trial court framed charges against the accused of supplementary charge sheet and ordered to begin trial again.
Two prime accused former Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed has been hanged in crimes against humanity case, while Mufti Hannan and his associate Shahidul Alam Bipul have also been executed for 2004 grenade attack at Shahjalal Shrine in Sylhet and their names have been dropped from the case.
During the BNP-Jamaat rule the investigators tried to turn the probe to a wrong direction by staging a Joj Miah drama.
Now the total accused stands at 49. Of the total 49 accused, 18 are yet to be arrested, eight are on bail and the rest are behind the bars.
The 23 accused who now in jail are Lutfozzaman Babar, former state minister for home affairs, Abdus Salam Pintu, former deputy minister for education, Maj Gen (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, former Director of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, Maj Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim, former Director General of National Security Intelligence (NSI), Shahadatullah alias Jewel, Moulana Sheikh Abdus Salam, Kashmir militant Abdul Majed Bhatt alias Yousuf Bhatt, Pakistan-based militant outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) activist Abdul Malek alias Golam Mohammad alias GM, Maulana Abdur Rouf alias Abu Omar Abu Homaira alias Pir Shaheb, Moulana Shabbir Ahmed alias Abdul Hannan Shabbir, HUJI leaders Maulana Shawkat Osman alias Sheikh Farid, Mohibullah alias Mafizur Rahman alias Ovi (Hannan’s brother), Maulana Abu Sayeed alias Dr Abu Zafar, Abul Kalam Azad alias Bulbul, Jahangir Alam, Hafez Maulana Abu Taher, Hossain Ahmed Tamim, Mufti Moinuddin Sheikh alias Mufti Moin alias Khawja alias Abu Zandal alias Masum Billah, Arif Hasan alias Sumon alias Abdur Razzak, Rafiqul Islam alias Sabuj alias Khalid Saifullah alias Shamim alias Rashed, Mohammad Ujjal alias Ratan, Hafez Maulana Yahya and Abu Bakar alias Hafez Selim Howlader.
The bailed accused are Lt Commander (retd) Saiful Islam Duke, also nephew of Khaleda Zia, Ariful Islam Arif former Ward Commissioner of BNP Dhaka City Corporation, Ward No 53, three former IGPs, Md Ashraful Huda, Shahudul Haque, Khoda Baksh Chowdhury, Senior SP Ruhul Amin of CID, ASP Abdur Rashid and ASP Munshi Atiqur Rahman.
The fugitives are Tarique Rahman, acting chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Harris Chowdhury, former political secretary to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, Maulana Tajuddin, brother of former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pinto, Mahibul Muttakin alias Muttakin, Anisul Mursalin alias Mursalin, Md Khalil, Jahangir Alam Badar, Md Iqbal, Liton alias Maulana Liton alias Delwar Hossain alias Jubaer, Kazi Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad for law maker of BNP, Mohammad Hanif, the owner of Hanif Paribahan, Lt Col (retd) Saiful Islam Joarder, Maj Gen ATM Amin (LPR), Mufti Shafiqur Rahman, Mufti Abdul Hai, Ratul Ahmed Babu alias Babu alias Ratul Babu, Khan Sayeed Hassan, former DC (South) of DMP, and former deputy commissioner (east) of DMP Obaidur Rahman Khan.
According to the intelligence sources, of the fugitives, Tarique Rahman is in London, Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad in the Middle East, Mohammad Hanif of Hanif Enterprise is in Kolkata, retired Maj Gen ATM Amin in the USA, retired Lt Col Saiful Islam Joardar in Canada, Ratul Babu in India, Anisul Morsalin and Mohibul Mottakin are in Indian jail and Mawlana Tajuddin is in South Africa.