Dhaka, January 16: A court in Bangladesh on Monday sentenced death punishment to all the 26 prime accused including Tareq Sayeed, the son-in-law of Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya for the abduction and killing of seven men in Narayanganj in the year 2014.
Whereas, the District and Sessions Judge’s court also handed down various jail terms to nine others. Nineteen of the convicts are former RAB personnel – 13 of them received the maximum penalty. Most of the victims’ families expressed satisfaction over the verdict but the defence counsels cried foul, saying they would move the court.
Seven men, including former city councilor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar, were abducted on April 27, 2014. Their bodies were found floating in the river several days later. Nazrul’s family later said that the former Awami League leader Nur Hossain had bribed the RAB officers to carry out the crimes.
Selina Islam Beauty, Nazrul’s wife, appealed against the charge sheet saying names of several key suspects had been dropped. Nur Hossain fled to India allegedly with the help of local MP Shamim Osman. He was later arrested in Kolkata and sent back to Bangladesh to stand trial. Nur and the former RAB officers were in the dock along with 19 others when Judge Syed Enayet Hossain read out verdict for the crimes that shook the country. Tareq broke down in tears.
Two cases were filed by Nazrul and Chandan’s families. The court merged the cases. Nazrul’s wife Beauty and Chandan Sarkar’s daughter Susmita Sarkar said they hoped the higher court would maintain the verdict. Defence lawyers Shahabuddin and Sultanuzzaman said their clients had been denied justice. They said they would challenge the verdict in the higher court.
The father of Chandan’s driver Ibrahim said he was not impressed. “Main perpetrator Mojibor is still absconding,” he said. Nazrul’s father-in-law Shaheed Chairman said names of several key suspects had been dropped from the charge sheet. “Iqbal and Ashik were the main planners,” he claimed. Lawyer Shakhawat Hossain, who represented the plaintiffs, said they faced much hardship during the trial. On the other side, Public Prosecutor Wazed Ali Khokon dubbed the verdict “accurate and acceptable”.