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Dhaka Tribune

Long wait ends in relief over verdict

Update : 18 Jul 2013, 02:05 AM

Freedom fighters and youths who were waiting since morning near the International Crimes Tribunal expressed satisfaction when it awarded Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed death penalty for crimes against humanity in the Liberation War.

The tribunal premises took a festive look with slogans, short processions and speeches in small groups after the announcement.

Frustrated with the Ghulam Azam verdict, SM Ibrahim, a freedom fighter and retired teacher of Mahtab Uddin High School at Kishoreganj, boarded a Dhaka bound bus on Tuesday.

“The journey was painful. I have been fasting from the first day of Ramadan. But I vowed, I will be here and if the court spares Mujaheed and nobody comes with me, I alone would take to the street. But when they said al-Badr chief will be hanged, I forgot everything,” the 66-year-old told this reporter.

Like Ibrahim, a number of freedom fighters, their relatives and young children had been waiting outside of the tribunal building since morning. Around 1pm someone from the tribunal building and shouted one word – fashi [hanged]. The freedom fighters burst into slogans. Some of them shed tears of joy.

The tribunal premises were filled with the slogan Joy Bangla.

Ibrahim said: “Everyone in my family was devastated when we saw on TV that Ghulam Azam was not given death penalty. We would have done something if the same thing happened again today [Wednesday].”

Freedom fighter Mahtabuddin, a-65-year old small trader came to the city from Kustia with one of his friend Binoy Shaha, who is also a freedom fighter.

“We came all along only to hear the verdict. We are happy. It hurt when we saw them riding cars hosting national flag. I fear, this government won’t get time to implement the verdict,” schoolteacher Binoy said.

Freedom fighter Noor Hossain came from Zianagar, Pirojpur. He is a presidium member of the Freedom Fighter Command Council’s central command. He was seen crying standing in a corner.

Jamaat kingpin Mujaheed, who led the infamous al-Badr force in killing leading intellectuals of the country near the end of the 1971 Liberation War, was awarded death penalty for three charges and life sentence and five-year imprisonment for two others.  

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