Rajon and Rakib. The teen boys, both aged 13, from Sylhet and Khulna were killed by some brutes in July and August. The barbaric murders shook the nation to its core and stirred massive outcries in the social and mainstream media. Yesterday, two courts in the two districts sentenced six people to death for the murders.
A Sylhet court yesterday handed down the death penalty to four people for the brutal killing of 13-year-old Rajon that stirred a huge outcry all over the country.
Metropolitan Sessions Judge Akbar Hossain Mirdha meted out different jail terms to six others for their involvement in the killing. Three others were acquitted of all charges.
Before pronouncing the verdict, the judge said he had completed the trial proceedings within 17 working days.
“I wanted an example to be set so that the sensational cases … are disposed of quickly … because justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
The cruelty of the four accused reminds us of barbarism and Bangladesh cannot go back to the age of barbarism, the judge said, reading out the summary of the 76-page judgment.
"I think capital punishment would suffice to stop the repetition of such occurrences," he said.
Immediately after the verdict, Rajon's mother Lubna Akter told journalists, "I am happy today. But I would get real justice when the killers of my son will be hanged."
The court handed the death penalty to the prime accused Quamrul Islam, Zakir Hossain alias Pavel, Saddique Ahmed alias Boro Moyna and Taz Uddin alias Badal. They were also fined Tk 10,000 each.
Boro Moyna was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment and fined Tk 11,000 on two more charges, in default of which he will have to serve three more months in jail.
Moyna's convictions will run concurrently, the court said.
Noor Ahmed alias Noor Mia, who filmed the brutal incident, was sentenced to life term in prison and fined Tk 10,000, in default of which he will have to serve two more months in jail.
Quamrul's brother Muhid Alam alias Muhit, Shamim Ahmed and Ali Haider were jailed for seven years' imprisonment and fined Tk 10,000 each, in default of which they will have to spend two more months in prison.
Ayaz Ali and Dulal Ahmed were jailed for one year and fined Tk 1,000 each. If they fail to pay, they will have to serve one more month in jail. Among the convicts, Pavel and Shamim are on the run.
Firoz Ali, Azmat Ullah and Ruhul Amin alias Ruhel were acquitted as the charges against them could not be proved.
From the morning, a large crowd gathered on the court premises. The judge took seat at 11:15am in a packed courtroom. When police brought the 11 accused to the court in a prison van, the crowd chanted slogans demanding their capital punishment. The accused were produced in the dock at 11:22am amid tight security.
During the delivery of the 71-minute verdict, the judge said the way they had beaten up Rajon by fastening his hands behind him with a pillar outraged public sentiment globally.
He said he had adjudicated the charges on the basis of confessional statements of the accused, testimonies of witnesses and the video footage.
MURDER, NOT CULPABLE HOMICIDE
About the defence argument that the accused had no intention of killing Rajon and that it was a culpable homicide, the judge said infliction of as many as 64 bruises and swelling injuries to the minor boy's entire body, including those to the forehead and the head, clearly indicated that the accused had the intention of murdering the boy.
RAJON WAS NOT A THIEF
The court also ruled out the allegation that Rajon attempted to steal a rickshaw van.
The judge said Rajon, in all likelihood, was playing with the said rickshaw van so that he was moving it forwards and backwards. He said Rajon was not stealing the van and it was rather the "misconception of the accused Saddique Ahmed alias Moyna Chowkidar.”
After the verdict was delivered, Rajon's family members, his father's lawyers, public prosecutors and people of Sylhet in general expressed satisfaction. The crowd on the court premises chanted slogans hailing the verdict.
On the other hand, defence lawyers said they would go to the High Court to challenge the verdict.
Public prosecutor Mishbah Uddin Siraj said, “We're satisfied with the verdict.”
On July 8, Sheikh Md Samiul Alam Rajon was tied to a pole and beaten to death by a group of people in Kumargaon Bus Stand area of Sylhet Sadar allegedly for trying to steal a rickshaw van. He screamed for help, cried for water and begged for his life. But they laughed and jeered at him till the boy went silent forever. One of them even filmed the horrendous incident and shared it on Facebook.
Police filed a murder case accusing Quamrul, his brother Muhit and others with Jalalabad Police Station.
But Quamrul fled to Saudi Arabia immediately after the incident. The Bangladeshi community in Saudi Arabia helped police catch Quamrul on July 13 and he was brought back to the country on October 15.
The trial started on October 1. The court recorded testimonies of 36 prosecution witnesses and cross-examined 11 accused persons.