A Dhaka court yesterday indicted 13 members of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan in a murder case filed in connection with the bomb attack on a CPB rally in 2001.
Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka framed the charges, but Hannan and five others of the accused pleaded innocence.
The court also fixed September 14 to start the trial in the case.
On November 27 last year, Criminal Investigation Department had pressed charges against the accused in two cases filed over the incident.
Of the cases, one was filed for the killing of five people and injuring 50 others while the other one was lodged under the Explosive Substances Act for blasting bombs.
The bomb attack on the rally of Communist Party of Bangladesh was carried out in the capital's Paltan Maidan on January 21, 2001.
Judge KM Imrul Kayes also set September 4 for hearing on charge framing against the 13 Huji men in connection with the second case.
Of the accused, Mufti Hannan, Mufti Mainuddin Sheikh, Arif Hassan Sumon, Maulana Sabbir Ahmed, Maulana Shawkat Osman and Md Moshiur Rahman are currently behind bars while Mufti Abdul Hai, Shafiqur Rahman, Jahangir Alam Badar, Md Nur Islam, Mohibul Mustakin, Anisur Rahman and Rafiqul Alam Miraj have been absconding ever since the incident took place.
During the investigation, in his confessional statement, Mainuddin admitted his involvement in carrying out the attack, and said Mufti Hannan and several others were involved in this as well.
According to the charge sheets, the accused carried out the blasts on the pretext that the CPB members in the rally were "atheists".
Soon after the blasts, police arrested 12 people but the CID, in its final investigation report submitted on December 17, 2003, cleared the arrestees of the charges as no "correct, impartial and reliable" evidence was found against them.
Later the home ministry ordered a reinvestigation into the incident following an application submitted by the CID in 2005.
Recently, Hannan and seven other Huji members were sentenced to death for killing 10 people in another bomb attack on Pahela Baishakh celebrations at Ramna Batamul in 2001.