12:01 AM, March 02, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:01 AM, March 02, 2014

25 ministers, MPs of BNP, allies involved

25 ministers, MPs of BNP, allies involved

States judicial report on 2001 post-polls crimes
Ashutosh Sarkar

At least 25 ministers and lawmakers of the BNP-Jamaat government were involved in atrocities on Hindus and opposition men in 15 months after the 2001 general elections, a judicial probe commission has found.
Former ministers Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, Abdus Salam Pintu, Matiur Rahman Nizami, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Tariqul Islam and Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed were among 26,352 people found involved in the post-poll offences.
Following a High Court order, the Awami League-led government on December 27, 2009 formed the three-member commission, headed by retired district judge Mohammad Sahabuddin.
The commission submitted an around 2,500-page report to the home ministry on April 24, 2011 after probing 3,625 complaints out of a total 5,571 filed with it.
Of the complaints, 355 involved political murders while 3,270 were regarding rape, arson, looting and other crimes.
The incidents took place in different areas of Bhola, Barisal, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Jhenidah, Jessore, Kushtia, Chittagong, Feni, Comilla, Khagrachhari, Sirajganj, Pabna, Rajshahi and Natore.
The commission members visited the spots, took photos and collected evidence along with details of the alleged perpetrators and their victims.
The probe report mentioned the rape of schoolgirl Purnima Rani in Sirajganj.
Purnima is one of nearly 200 Hindu women who were allegedly gang-raped by the cadres of the then ruling BNP-Jamaat alliance over the period of 15 months.
A Sirajganj court in May 2011 sentenced 11 people to life for violating Purnima on October 8, 2001. The criminals also beat up her family members.
The judicial commission in its report said more than 18,000 violent incidents including murder, rape, arson, and looting took place during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat government formed after the polls held on October 1, 2001.
From 2003 to 2006, around 14,000 incidents of murder, rape, looting, physical torture, injuries and damage of properties took place and they are needed to be probed.
A committee comprising an additional district magistrate, an assistant superintendent of police and an executive magistrate can be formed in every district for investigating those incidents, it added.    
The High Court is set to pass an order on the report today. The Attorney General's Office placed the report before the court on February 25 after obtaining it from the home ministry.  
According to the report, the violent incidents, which took place in five years after 2001 parliamentary elections, included the gruesome grenade attack on the Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in 2004, and the countrywide serial bomb blasts in 2005, the AG office sources said.


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