The trail of five JMB militants in connection with the murder of Dhaka University teacher Prof Humayun Azad has remained stuck for nearly eight months as the prosecution witnesses are not coming to court to testify in the sensational case.
Since June 22 last year, the court fixed nine dates for recording depositions but the prosecution had failed to produce the witnesses.
So far 37 out of 58 witnesses including the victim’s daughter Mouli Azad and son Ananya Azad have given deposition in the case.
However, the prosecution lawyers claimed that the witnesses had been sent court summons several times asking them to give depositions.
Assistant public prosecutor ABM Basir Uddin told the Dhaka Tribune that they were trying their level best to complete the trial within the shortest possible time.
Even the High Court expressed frustration over the lengthy proceedings of the case. On February 20, 2014, a High Court bench directed the lower court to dispose of the case within six months.
Twelve years have elapsed since the gruesome attack was carried out by members of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Dhaka University area on February 27, 2004. Prof Humayun was returning home from the Amar Ekushey Book Fair and came under the attack by four to five machete-wielding extremists near the Suhrawardy Udyan.
After undergoing a series of treatments at home and abroad, the secularist writer died reportedly of cardiac arrest in Munich, Germany on August 12 the same year.
Criminal Investigation Department probed the case twice and submitted the supplementary charge sheet on April 30, 2012. The five JMB men militants were indicted on September 10, 2012.
The accused are Mizanur Rahman alias Minhaz alias Boma Mizan, Anwar Alam alias Anwar Hossain, Nur Mohammad Babu alias Sabu, Salauddin alias Salehin and Hafiz Mahmud in the case. Of them, Salehin and Sabu are on the run.
Two of the accused – Boma Mizan and Anwar Alam – gave confessional statements before magistrates admitting their involvement in the incident. The JMB, however, blames Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee for instigating the attack.
Formed in 1998 with a view to establishing Islamic rule in the country, JMB carried out several bomb attacks across the country since 2002 killing dozens of people. The group was banned on February 23, 2005.