Dhaka – Ten people have been sentenced to death for attempting on life of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2000, officials said on Sunday.
The judge of the speedy trial court in Dhaka Momtaz Begum delivered the verdict against the accused who are members of a banned Islamist organization for planting a bomb at a school ground in Kotalipara where Prime Minister Hasina was scheduled to address a rally in July 2000.
The law enforcers found the 76-kilogram bomb near the stage a day ahead of the rally near Hasina’s ancestral home. She was almost at the fag-end of her first tenure as Prime Minister at that time.
The court sentenced death for Wasim Akhter, Md Yousuf, Md Rashed (Driver), Sheikh Forid, Tarequl Alam Bodor, Maulana Abu Bakkar, Mufti Shofiqur Rahman, Maulana Yahya, Mufti Abdul Hye and Mannan Abdul Rouf.
Abdul Hannan, chief of Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh, had plotted the bomb campaign against Hasina along his followers. Hannan’s name was dropped from the verdict as he was executed for carrying out an attack on, Anwar Chaudhury, former British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, in 2004.
Chaudhury survived the attack, but three policemen were killed in the attack in Bangladesh’s shrine city of north-eastern Sylhet.
The court of Mamtaz Begum kept open options for execution either by hanging or in firing squad.
She also sentenced one person to life in prison and three others in 14 years of jail for their involvement in the plot. She sentenced nine others to 20 years in jail for supplying explosives to the plotters.
Soon after the seizure of the bomb, Kotalipara police filed cases under the Explosive Substances Act and a conspiracy to kill the prime minister, and later pressed charges against 16 people on April 8, 2001.
A supplementary charge sheet was filed ,on June 29, 2009 , accusing nine more people in the case when Awami League came to power for the second time.
The cases were being tried in Goplaganj, but cases were transferred to speedy trial tribunal in Dhaka in 2010 considering its sensitivity.