17 condemned convicts yet to be arrested
Five years after the killing of Fulgazi upazila Chairman Ekramul Haque Ekram in Feni, the law-enforcement agencies are yet to apprehend 17 of the men convicted for their roles in the murder.
The Feni District and Sessions Court on March 13, 2018 sentenced 39 people to death in the sensational murder case. Among them, 22 are now behind bars, while 17 others remain on the run.
In the verdict, 16 other accused, including prime suspect BNP leader Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury Minar, were acquitted.
Family members of the victim have expressed doubts over execution of the verdict, as the hearing on an appeal with the High Court is yet to be held.
Ekram's bother, Mojammel Haq, said, "Although those involved in the murder got due punishment, the masterminds remain untouched. It must be ensured by the authorities that the condemned convicts don't get acquitted by the higher court. The government must take initiatives for the quick execution of the verdict."
Feni Judge Court Public Prosecutor Advocate Hafez Ahmed said Ekram was killed by armed assailants in front of Bilasi Cinema Hall on May 20, 2014. His elder brother then filed a case with Feni model police station.
Among the 22 condemned convicts, then Awami League joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Adel and municipality councilor Abdullah Hil Mahmud Shiblu are now in jail.
Jailer of Feni District Jail Md Didarul Alam said the condemned men were transferred to Kashimpur high security jail in Gazipur after the pronouncement of the verdict.
Among them, Nur Uddin Mia, Arif and Tota Mia were brought back to Feni as they were convicted in other cases, too.
The fugitive 17 convicts are former Fulgazi upazila Awami League joint general secretary Jahid Hossain Jihad, Feni-2 MP Nizam Hazari's cousin Abidul Islam Abid, Md Nafiz Uddin Anik, Arman Hossain Kauser, Jahedul Hashem Soikat, Ziaur Rahman Bappi, Jashim Uddin Nayan, Emran Hossain Russel, Rahat Md Erfan, Ekram Hossain, Shafiqur Rahman, Kafil Uddin, Mosleh Uddin Asif, Ismail Hossain Chuttu, Mohiuddin Anis, Bablu and Titu.
Defence counsel Ahsan Kabir Bengal said the convicted men have filed an appeal with the Appellate Division against the lower court verdict.