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More than a decade later, justice still not served

  • Published at 02:43 am August 17th, 2017

It has been 12 years, since the nationwide bomb attacks that simultaneously went off in 500 places on August 17, 2005 that brought the militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) into light. More than a 100 people were injured and two killed in the bomb attacks in 63 districts – except Munshiganj. A total of 161 cases were filed with different police stations across the country. After the simultaneous bomb attacks, security agencies arrested JMB kingpin Sheikh Abdur Rahman, Siddikur Rahman alias Bangla Bhai and several hundred members of the militant outfit. The top leaders were awarded the gallows in 2007. A total 660 people were accused in the 161 cases out of which 455 people were arrested, said Rapid Action Battalion sources. Within the 12 years, 102 cases has already been tried and awarded sentences by different courts in the country while 59 cases are still under trial, RAB said. They also said that the 262 accused were rewarded with different sentence and 118 were acquitted from the charges. “Some 50 of the accused are still on the run,” RAB added. Sources said that a total of the 35 accused are out on bail, adding that the remaining cases are pending because they are in other districts that has a slower judicial system and has been lacking in witnesses. Prosecution counsels said that they were trying to located the witnesses, many of them have moved to different address, which is why it is taking so long to find them. Meanwhile, this delay is allowing the militants to plea for bail or have already been awarded bail, said prosecution counsels. Although security agencies managed to catch several members of JMB and get the outfit banned, the group is still alive and active in by using different names. Police said JMB broke into two parts, the old one led by Slahuddin, who fled the prison van in Trishal, Mymensingh District in February 2014 and the other one called New JMB. Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit Chief Monirul Islam said: “We have successfully broken up the groups although some small clusters of them remain that cannot carry out big attacks any longer. In 2016, New JMB carried out two big attacks,the Gulshan Terror Attack and the Sholakia Attack.