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Dhaka Tribune

Court: Dipon’s killers aimed at destroying Bangladesh's secular, democratic character

In its observation, the court says Dipon was killed in premeditated way for publishing Avijit Roy's book

Update : 10 Feb 2021, 08:07 PM

The killers of Foisal Arefin Dipon, publisher of Jagriti Prokashony, had the objective of destroying the secular and democratic character of the state, according to the court that has sent eight militants to the gallows for the 2015 murder.

Altogether eight members of the banned militant outfit Ansar al-Islam were handed down the death penalty by Judge Md Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka on Wednesday.

In the observation, which was part of the 53-page verdict, the judge noted that Dipon was killed in a premeditated manner for publishing books of writer-blogger Avijit Roy.

Avijit Roy was also brutally murdered in similar fashion eight months before Dipon was killed in 2015.

The sole purpose of Ansar al-Islam members was to silence bloggers, writers and publishers and in effect silence the voices of the people, observed the judge.

He added that the accused committed the crime to disrupt public security by creating panic and to impede free speech.

Also Read- Foisal Arefin Dipon murder: 8 Ansar al-Islam militants to walk the gallows

The militants wanted to endanger public safety and force the government to refrain from engaging in democratic politics and development work in the country, the judge said in his observation.

He added that other Ansar al-Islam members would be motivated to commit such crimes if the accused in this case were spared. Since the accused were involved in Dipon’s murder in an organized way as members of the the militant group, they must be given the same punishment.

They do not deserve any sympathy, said the judge.

Only the death penalty will ensure justice and it would be an exemplary punishment, he observed, adding it would also bring peace of mind for Dipon’s family and would frighten and discourage others from committing such heinous crimes in the future.

The verdict

Judge Md Majibur Rahman started reading out the 53-page verdict at 12:02pm. Dipon's wife Dr Razia Rahman and two other relatives were present in court at the time.

Also Read- Defence to challenge Dipon murder verdict over no eyewitnesses

The convicts are sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haque Zia; Akram Hossain alias Hasib; Abdus Sabur alias Abdus Samad alias Sujon; Khairul Islam alias Jamil alias Jisan; Sheikh Abdullah alias Jubayer alias Jayed; Abu Siddique Sohel alias Sajid alias Sihab; Mozammel Hossain alias Saimon; and Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Sifat alias Shamim alias Samir.

Of them, Zia and Akram are still on the run, while the other six are behind bars.

The six were brought to the court earlier in the morning from Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj. They were taken to the courtroom at 11:30am.

Apart from the capital punishment, each of the eight convicts were also slapped with a Tk50,000 fine.

Case details

Dipon was hacked to death in the Jagriti Prokashony office at Aziz Super Market in the capital on October 31, 2015.

His wife Razia Rahman filed the murder case at Shahbagh police station two  days later against unidentified assailants.

Police pressed charges against the eight militants on November 15, 2018.

On October 13, 2019, the court indicted the eight in the case. Twenty-two out of 26 prosecution witnesses testified in court during the trial.

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