The High Court yesterday directed the government to immediately take appropriate legal actions against those responsible for atrocities and offences committed after the 2001 general elections.
After accepting the judicial probe report on the 2001 post-polls violence, the court expressed dissatisfaction over the government's not taking any serious steps against the offenders.
During a hearing on a pending writ petition, it ordered the home secretary and inspector general of police to take steps against the offenders in accordance with the probe report.
The HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain also asked them to submit a report before it on May 11 after complying with the order.
Manzill Murshid, president of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, had moved the writ petition in 2009 seeking HC directives on the government to form a judicial commission to probe the 2001 post-election violence.
The government has to file cases against people responsible for the incidents of atrocities and violence after the 2001 polls and put them on trial following the HC order, Deputy Attorney General Biswojit Roy told The Daily Star.
He added that police could arrest the offenders after cases were filed against them.
Following a High Court order, the previous Awami League-led government on December 27 of 2009 formed the three-member commission, headed by retired district judge Mohammad Sahabuddin to probe attacks on the then opposition Awami League supporters, particularly the minority communities.
The commission submitted the probe report to the home ministry on April 24, 2011.
It found that 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 polls.
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.
The commission also found that over 200 women belonging to minority communities were gang-raped allegedly by the then ruling BNP-Jamaat alliance activists.
The barbaric act was intended to force them to leave the country. Their only fault was to cast vote for Awami League.
The commission mentioned over 3,625 incidents including 355 as politically motivated killings. The remaining 3,270 were incidents of rape, arson attack, and looting by the then ruling BNP-Jamaat men.
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 home ministry on April 1 this year published the probe report through a gazette notification as per an HC order.