Quasem doesn’t fear death, wife says after meeting
After meeting Mir Quasem Ali at Kashimpur jail where the death row war criminal will be hanged, his wife told journalists that her husband “does not fear death”.
“He told me that death will be equivalent to martyrdom,” Khandokar Ayesha Khatun said.
The family met Quasem for nearly two hours from 4:15pm to 5:55pm, Prashanta Kumar Banik, senior jail superintendent of Kashimpur Jail-2, told The Daily Star.
A total of 38 family members went to Kashimpur after the jail authorities called up the family to meet Quasem this morning. The last visit before hanging is customary.
However, any comments from on behalf of the family could not be obtained.
Tahmina Akhter, daughter-in-law of Mir Quasem, told The Daily Star of receiving a call from prison authorities in the morning. They went to Kashimpur around 3:33pm.
Quasem’s execution was confirmed yesterday after he pushed aside the prospect of presidential mercy – the last straw that could have had saved him from the gallows.
Quasem, who led ruthless militia Al-Badr in Chittagong to commit crimes against humanity in 1971, is now kept in a condemned cell in the jail.
After he gave his decision, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday said there is no legal bar now to execute Quasem as he has decided not to seek presidential clemency.
The authorities, however, are yet to disclose the time and the place of Quasem's execution.
On Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court upheld Quasem's death penalty for 1971 war crimes, the Jamaat leader, widely considered as top financier of the Islamist party, sought time to decide his next course of action. He sought more time when the authorities asked him the same question the following day.
On Tuesday, the SC dismissed Quasem's petition seeking a review of the judgment that upheld his death penalty for crimes against humanity in 1971.
The apex court released the full verdict and sent it to the International Crimes Tribunal.
The ICT then sent copies of the verdict to Dhaka Central Jail, the office of Dhaka district magistrate, and law and home ministries. The Dhaka jail sent a copy to the Kashimpur jail.
In November 2014, the ICT-2 sentenced Quasem to death on two charges and awarded him different jail terms on eight other charges.
According to the case documents, he had set up a torture camp at Dalim Hotel in the port city during the Liberation War. On his instructions, many freedom-loving people were tortured and killed at the camp.
Quasem challenged the verdict at the apex court.
On March 8 this year, the SC upheld his death sentence on one charge -- the killing of young freedom fighter Jasim Uddin at Dalim Hotel -- and jail terms for his involvement in the abduction, confinement and torture of freedom fighters and innocent people.
It, however, acquitted him of three other charges, including a murder charge for which he was sentenced to death by the ICT-2.
Quasem filed the review petition on June 19.