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Dhaka Tribune

Descendants of slain national leaders demand execution of the verdict

Update : 30 Apr 2013, 07:18 PM

The descendants of the four national leaders who were killed in jail custody in 1975 expressed satisfaction over the Appellate Division ruling yesterday that upheld a trial court verdict sentencing their killers to death.

The sons and daughters of the slain leaders, however, felt frustrated that the “real” conspirators behind the killings were never convicted.

The four leaders, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamruzzaman, were killed by a group of army personnel inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.

In 2004, the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka handed down the death penalty to dafadar (dismissed) Marfat Ali Shah and lance dafadar (dismissed) Abul Hashem Mridha in the jail killing case. Both convicts are now fugitives abroad.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court pronounced its decision yesterday following a government appeal, challenging a 2008 High Court ruling that had acquitted Marfat Ali and Hashem Mridha.

Mohammad Nasim, son of M Mansur Ali, expressed his satisfaction after the ruling, saying justice had prevailed to some extent in this country through the latest verdict.

“Although late, we got justice in the case as the Awami League-led grand alliance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now in power,” Nasim told reporters at the court premises yesterday.

Nasim, also a presidium member of the ruling Awami League felt frustrated, however, that the conspirators behind the killing of his father were not punished.

“It is unfortunate that the real culprits in the case were acquitted due to the naked interference of the previous BNP-Jamaat alliance government,” he said.

Brig Gen(retired) Syed Safayetul Islam, the son of wartime acting president Syed Nazrul Islam, was also happy with the verdict.

But he, too,was unhappythat the suspected conspirators behind the killings were not punished.

 “I am only 50 percent satisfied over the verdict, as theconspirators were not punished. Now, the conspirators should be brought to book,” Safayetul Islam told Dhaka Tribune by telephone.

Simin Hossain Rini, the elder daughter of Tajuddin Ahmed, the country's first prime minister, said she was satisfied with the ruling but disconcerted that it did not mention anything about the conspirators.

Her younger sister Mahjabin Ahmed Mimi also expressed her satisfaction, saying that the verdict was inspiring. “For the time being, we are relieved, having heard the verdict,” she said.

Responding to a query on whether they would lodge an appeal against the verdict, Rini, also a ruling party lawmaker, told Dhaka Tribune by telephone: “The state is the complainant in this case. If they wish to, then they will lodge a further appeal.”

AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, the son of slain national leader AHM Qamruzzaman, was also satisfied with the verdict.

Liton, who is the mayor of the Rajshahi City Corporation, while talking to reporters in Rajshahi, said justice had prevailed, despite a long delay.

He also accused the BNP-led alliance, which was in power in 2004, of hatching a deep-rooted conspiracy after the pronouncement of the trial court verdict.

Meanwhile, all of them demanded the repatriation of the fugitive killers and execution of the verdict in the shortest possible time, saying it would free the nation from stigma.



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