A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced Bakhtiar Alam Rony, son of former Awami League lawmaker Pinu Khan, to life in prison for killing two people in the capital's Eskaton in April 2015.
Judge Md Manzurul Imam of the Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court in Dhaka told a packed courtroom that Rony “deserved the death penalty”.
But, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison owing to the “physical and mental state” he was in when he committed the offences, he said.
The court also fined the convict Tk 50,000, defaulting which will result in an additional six months in jail.
The double murder case was earlier shifted to the First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka, but the court sent it back to the second court without pronouncing the judgment.
According to witness testimonies and investigation findings, Rony was drunk when he started shooting his pistol on a crowded street from his SUV after midnight on New Eskaton Road.
His driver Imran Fakir and friends Kamal Mahmud, Tiger Kamal and Jahangir Alam were in the car at the time. They had given judicial statements before magistrates.
Witnesses said rickshaw-puller Abdul Hakim and three-wheeler driver Yakub were shot by him.
Moreover, ballistics test confirmed that the bullet found in the body of auto-rickshaw driver Yakub was fired from Rony's gun.
The licence of the firearm was not submitted before the court and how many bullets were in the pistol was not mentioned. But police recovered 21 bullets from the convict, the judge said.
The verdict came after the court examined 24 prosecution witnesses. Rony remained calm after hearing the verdict and did not comment about it.
The complainant or family members of the victims were not present on the court premises.
Additional Prosecutor SM Zahid Hossain expressed his satisfaction over the verdict as the defence lawyer said they would appeal against the verdict with the High Court.
According to the charges pressed against him, Rony fired random shots from his vehicle “being frustrated over post-midnight traffic” leaving two people dead.
Victim Abdul Hakim's mother Monowara Begum filed the murder case on April 15, 2015.
The incident didn't draw much attention at first. But as the media ran reports, it created a huge public outcry.
Ramna police started a probe and collected CCTV footage installed at the nearby Janakantha office. In the footage, they found suspicious movement of a black SUV in the area.
Later, police identified the vehicle owner with the help of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
Rony was remanded thrice. But he didn't confess to his crimes.
The case was then transferred to the Detective Branch of police on May 25. Rony was arrested on May 31.