Jamaat-e-Islami has called a countrywide daylong hartal for Monday protesting death penalty to its chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in a 10-truck arms haul case.
A Chittagong court yesterday handed down the death penalty to 14 people, including ex-ministers Lutfozzaman Babar and Nizami and former top intelligence officials, for smuggling 10 truckloads of arms into the port city during the last BNP-led government's tenure.
In a statement this evening, Jamaat acting secretary general Shafiqur Rahman said they would enforce the shutdown on February 3 across the country in protest against what he said a well-plan to kill the party ameer.
The 14 convicts were also given life sentences for possessing illegal firearms and ammunition in another case filed over the largest-ever arms haul in the country about a decade ago.
The court acquitted 38 other accused, mostly day labourers, from both the cases -- one filed under the Special Powers Act 1974 for smuggling of firearms and the other under the Arms Act for illegal possession of firearms.
The cases were lodged with Karnaphuli Police Station a day after the arms haul at Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd (CUFL) jetty in the early hours of April 2, 2004.
The arms and ammunition seized included 4,930 sophisticated firearms, 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 27,020 grenades, 2,000 grenade-launching tubes, 6,392 magazines and 11.41 million bullets.