Dhaka – A Bangladeshi court on Monday sentenced 26 persons, including a local politician and a dismissed RAB commander, to death for sensational abduction and killing of seven persons in 2014, officials said.
Nine other accused were given different prison terms for their involvement in the gruesome killing of a panel mayor of Narayanganj City Corporation, a lawyer and five others.
Syed Enayet Hossain, district and session judge of Narayanganj, pronounced the verdict in a crowded courtroom amid tight security at about 10.30 am.
Nur Hossain, a former city councellor, and sacked Rapid Action Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Tarek Sayeed Mahmud, and his deputies Major Arif Hossain and Lieutenant Commander M Masud Rana are among those who received the death sentence.
Earlier on November 30, the judge set the date to deliver the judgment after the completion of arguments by both defence and prosecution.
Investigators said a group of members of the Rapid Action Battalion abducted Narayanganj City Corporation panel mayor Nazrul Islam, his three associates and driver from Fatullah of the district on April 27. The group also abducted senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarker and his driver on their way to Dhaka.
Their bodies were found in Shitalakkhya River three days after the abduction.
Investigators said that Nur Hossain, a local politician, had bribed the law enforcements to kill his political opponents.
The court indicted 35 people, including prime accused Nur Hossain, and the RAB officials, after investigators pressed charges against them. The government extradited Nur Hossain from Kolkata as he fled to Kolkata after the murder.
Earlier, in the case, 23 accused were arrested while 12 still remained fugitives. Seventeen of the arrestees are the former members of crime-busting Rapid Action Battalion.
Nine fugitive accused are named as Mokhlesur Rahman, Abdul Alim (an army man), Mohiuddin, Al-Amin (an army man), Tajul Islam (an army man), Sergeant Enamul Kabir, Assistant Sub-Inspector Kamal Hossain, constables Habibur Rahman and Selim Uddin an aide of Nur Hossain, manger Sanaullah Sana and manager Jamal Uddin Shah.
Selina Islam Beauty, widow of Nazrul Islam, lodged a case against six people while Advocate Chandan Sarkar’s son-in-law filed another case in connection with the murders.