Mufti Abdul Hannan, chief of a faction of Pakistan-based militant group Huji’s Bangladesh chapter, was executed Wednesday night for his part in the 2004 Shahjalal shrine grenade attack.
There are 17 cases against him across the country including his home district Gopalganj. Mufti Hannan of Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (meaning Movement of the Islamic Holy War) masterminded at least 13 attacks in Bangladesh – two of which were aimed at assassinating Sheikh Hasina in 2000 and 2004.
HujiB carried out the attack to assassinate then the UK envoy in Bangladesh, Anwar Choudhury. Three people were killed while Anwar and at least 70 others injured in the blasts, its 10th attack since 1999.
His faction was also behind the bomb attacks on Pohela Boishakh celebrations at Ramna Batamul, CPB rally in Dhaka and Udichi function in Jessore, and six attacks on Awami League rallies in different districts during 2001-05 that left dozens dead.
They also killed eight people at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Khulna in 1999 and 10 others at Baniarchar Church in Gopalganj in 2001.
The militant leader, who was reportedly blessed by the then BNP-Jamaat government, was arrested along with his wife and four children from the capital’s Badda area on October 31, 2005.
So far, only the Sylhet attack case has been completed. Mufti Hannan and two of his accomplices were executed for their crimes.
Two others were sentenced to life-term imprisonment by a Sylhet tribunal in 2008 while the apex court cleared way for their execution in March. The trio sought mercy admitting their guilt, but their appeals were rejected by President Abdul Hamid on April 8.
The militant kingpin and seven other HujiB members were handed down death penalty in the Ramna Batamul blast case in 2014. Hearing on their appeals and the death references began on January 8 this year.
Trial in the other case filed under the Explosive Substances Act is yet to be completed due to non-appearance of prosecution witnesses.
On the other hand, trial in the August 21 grenade blasts that killed 23 people and left more than 200 others injured at an Awami League rally in 2004 is now underway.
So far, 250 out of 486 prosecution witnesses have testified at the court.
Mufti Hannan was jailed for life in 2003 by a special tribunal for planting a 76kg bomb to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her rally at Kotalipara, Gopalganj.