Dhaka – The High Court on Tuesday upheld death penalty for 15 people, including three sacked army officers, for abducting and murdering seven people in central Bangladeshi district of Narayanganj, officials said.
The High Court bench of Justice Bhabani Prasad Singh and Justice Mostafa Zaman Islam delivered the verdict on the death reference and appeal by the convicts. The court commuted the penalty of 11 others, who were also sentenced to death by trial court, to life in prison.
Nur Hossain, a former Awami League leader in Narayanganj, former commanding officer of Rapid Action Battalion-11 Lieutenant Colonel Tareq Sayeed Mahmud, Major Arif Hossain, Lieutenant Commander Masud Rana were among those who were awarded with the death sentence.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters that he was happy with the verdict.
Investigation revealed that Nur Hossain bribed the Rapid Action Battalion to eliminate his political rival. And as per the plan, the officers along with their team abducted local councilor Nazrul Islam, lawyer Chandan Sarker, Nazrul’s friend Maniruzzaman Shapon, Tajul Islam, Liton, driver Jahangir Alam and Chandan’s driver Ibrahim from a busy road in Narayanganj on April 27, 2014.
The bodies of the seven persons surfaced in Sitalakhya river two days after they were abducted.
A case was filed with Fatullah Model police station on the following day accusing Nur Hossain and his cohorts. Nazrul’s father in law Shahidul Islam alleged that Hossain bribed the law enforcement agencies to kill Nazrul. Accordingly, the investigation proceeded.
Subsequently, Tareq Sayeed Mahmud, Arif Hossain and Masud Rana was withdrew from the Rapid Action Battalion as they were deputed from the armed forces to the crime-busting unit of the police.
Bijoy Kumar Paul, Son-in-law of Chandan Sarkar, filed another case on the murder of Chandan Sarkar and his driver Ibrahim with the same police station.
Police charged 35 people, including the members of the law enforcement agency, 11 months after they launched the investigation on April 8, 2015.
A district court in Narayanganj, sentenced 26 of the accused with death penalty. The others were awarded with prison term from seven years to 17 years.