Dhaka, March 13: A court in Bangladesh today sentenced to death 39 activists of the ruling Awami League for brutally killing a fellow local level party leader four years ago.
Ekramul Haque, the Upazila Awami League President, was hacked, shot and burnt alive by miscreants inside his car in broad daylight in Feni town's Academy area on May 20, 2014. A prosecutor said the court handed down the death penalty to 39 people in this single case.
All the convicts were local leaders and activists of Awami League. He said the district judge's court, however, acquitted 16 people, one being a local leader of the main opposition BNP, though initially, he appeared to be the prime accused in the case.
Haque's brother Rezaul Haque Jasim had filed the murder case accusing BNP leader Minar and 30-35 unidentified people. A total of 44 arrests were made over the years and 15 of them confessed in court.
Court inspector Nojibul Islam told that a judge in Feni district Tuesday sentenced 39 men to death by hanging for the crime. Sixteen others were acquitted.
"We will go to appeal in the higher court against the order," said defense lawyer Rana Das Gupta. Bangladesh has a history of delivering death sentences in mass trials.
In November, a court upheld death sentences against 139 soldiers for the grisly murders of dozens of senior army officers in a 2009 mutiny.