5 BCL men to die for Zubair murder

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A speedy trial tribunal in Dhaka on Sunday sentenced five fugitive activists of Chhatra League to death and handed six others life terms for killing Jahangirnagar University student Zubair Ahmed three years ago that had triggered protests on and out of the campus.
The speedy trial tribunal-4 judge ABM Nizamul Haque acquitted two other activists of the student organisation of the charges as their crimes were not proved beyond ‘reasonable doubt.’
The court observed that the two – Nazmul Hussain Plabon and Mahmudul Hasan – had tried to save their friend Zubair from the attack.
The court read out a brief observation and delivered the verdict in a packed courtroom where seven accused were in the dock in fetters.
The five fugitive convicts are – Khandakar Ashiqul Islam Ashik, Rashedul Islam Raju, Khan Mohammad Rais alias Shohan, Mahbub Akram and Zahid Hasan.
Death row convict Mahbub Akram and acquitted Nazmul Hussain had made confessional statements under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure in the case filed with Ashulia police station by JU deputy registrar (security) Hamidur Rahman.
The court observed that the attack on Zubair, a student of English 37th batch at JU, on January 8, 2012 was a planned one and he was struck repeatedly with pipes by the attackers, particularly Mahbub and Rashedul, until he fell unconscious.
Zubair was taken to United Hospital where he had died the following day that triggered widespread protests. The university had initiated an inquiry and syndicate expelled 13 student for different periods.
The judge said that Ashik, Rashedul and Zubair were involved with Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal when they enrolled in the university in 2008 but joined BCL after Awami League assumed power.
Of the death row convicts, Ashik, Rais and Mahbub Akram fled from the court premises on February 23, 2013 while the trials of others were held in absentia.
Six convicts – Ishtiaq Mehbub Arup, Najmus Sakib Tapu, Mazharul Islam, Kamruzzaman Sohag, Shafiul Alam Setu and Avinandan Kundu Avi – who were awarded life terms, were also fined Tk 20,000 each.
Of the life-term convicts, Ishtiaq Mehbub fled from the court premises on February 23, 2013 while others were now in jail custody.
The judge also declared ‘wrong’ the expulsion of Nazmul Hussain Plabon and Mahmudul Hasan from the university.
The judge said that the court had taken into account the evidence collected by the police, post-mortem report, university inquiry report and the depositions of 27 out of 37 prosecution witnesses.
After the arguments ended on January 28, the tribunal had posted the verdict for February 4. But it was rescheduled for Sunday as the police had not produced the seven accused – now in Dhaka Central Jail – to the court on security grounds.
Public prosecutor Taslima Yasmin Dipa said they would take a decision on the two acquittals after the full verdict was available.
Defence counsel Syed Rezaur Rahman, who stood for life-term convict Najmus Sakib Tapu, told New Age that the conviction was not given in accordance with the law.
‘We will appeal to the higher court,’ said Rezaur Rahman, who holds the status of attorney general of the state while dealing with the cases of August 21 grenade attacks.
The JU correspondent reported that the teachers and students of the university had expressed satisfaction with the verdict and demanded its immediate execution.
Several hundred students of different departments under the banner of ‘Santrasher Biruddhe Jahangirnagar’ brought out a procession hailing the verdict.
JU vice-chancellor Farzana Islam said, ‘The verdict is the reflection of our university investigation.’
Abdullah Al Mamun, the brother of slain Zubair, said, ‘We will be happy if the government takes steps to arrest the fugitive convicts.’
Source: New Age

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