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Dhaka Tribune

1,102 on death row after BDR sentences

Update : 05 Nov 2013, 09:17 PM

The number of convicts on death row rose to 1,102 after a court on Tuesday sentenced 152 members of the former Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) to capital punishment in connection with the Pilkhana carnage.

Meanwhile, all of the accused in the carnage have been kept at the Dhaka Central Jail with special security arrangements taken by the prison authorities and police.

Apart from the death penalties to 152 BDR men, the court also sentenced 161 others to life imprisonment and 263 to different terms, while acquitting 267.

A total of 74 people, including 57 army officers, were killed in Pilkhana in 2009.

Zahir Uddin Babar, assistant inspector general of the prisons, told the Dhaka Tribune that apart from the 152 BDR members, the number of detained convicts on death row totals 950.

“As we are yet to receive the court orders, the official number of the death row convicts will be 950 until November 5. After the court orders come, the number will rise to 1,102 officially,” he said.

Dhaka Jail’s Senior Superintendent Forman Ali said all the 850 accused were taken to Dhaka Central Jail after the verdict was delivered.

“When the court orders reach the jail, the convicts will be shifted to different jails as per the decision of the higher authorities,” said Forman Ali.

Ali said apart from the 152 BDR members, there were 29 other death row convicts in his jail.

At present around 70,000 prisoners are housed in 68 jails in Bangladesh and of them around 19,000 are convicts and the rest are under trial and detainees.

“Among the 19,000 convicts, around 7,000 are serving life,” said a jail official.

Meanwhile, as part of the special security arrangement, additional security forces have been deployed in and around the jail while police have imposed restriction on the movement on the roads surrounding Dhaka Central Jail.

Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Ashraful Islam Khan said, “We have enough capacity to accommodate all the convicts. Adequate security measures have been taken to keep all the convicts secured.”

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