I regret to disagree with Neil Taylor's view in your letters column of 13 Jan 2013 that, 'in this case the judges clearly seem to have acted independently in deciding a sentence based only on the evidence presented to them at the tribunal, which is all the verdict should be based on.'
I have closely seen and heard what was developing from day one at Shahbagh Morh, which is now called Pojonmo Chottor. When life imprisonment was declared for Abdul Quader Mollah instead of death penalty when Bachu Rajakar was awarded death penalty for reportedly lesser crimes, the Dhaka University students and their associates smelled 'foul play' by the government. They assumed that to avert further arson and anarchy by Jamaat and their hoodlums, a milder sentence was considered to be wise and best under the political circumstances prevailing at that moment.
The students at once reacted to the government's interference in the verdict, questioning the very independence of the International Crimes Tribunal. They took to the streets in unison to protest against the government's dictates and demanded the Tribunal to focus on safeguarding the system of independent judiciary in Bangladesh.