A Gaibandha court yesterday sentenced seven accused to death in the murder case of former local Awami League lawmaker Manjurul Islam Liton.
Among the convicts is former local Jatiya Party MP Col (retd) Abdul Kader Khan, prime accused in the case.
District and Sessions Judge Dilip Kumar Bhowmick pronounced the verdict in presence of six accused, including Kader.
According to the charge sheet of the case, Kader had planned the murder to eliminate his political rival.
Of the seven convicts, Chandan Kumar Roy fled to India soon after the murder nearly three years ago, said police.
The five other convicts are Anwarul Islam Rana, Shaheen Mia Santo, Rashedul Hasan Mehdi, Kader’s personal secretary Shamsuzzoha Sarker and driver Abdul Hannan.
Besides, another charge-sheeted accused Subol Chandra Roy died in jail custody after suffering from diseases.
In the evening of December 31, 2016, two assailants entered Liton’s house in Masterpara of Sundarganj upazila and shot him. They soon fled the scene.
Liton died of his bullet wounds at Rangpur Medical College Hospital that night.
The following day, his younger sister Fahmida Kakoli Bulbul filed the murder case with Sundarganj police station, accusing five people. Police on April 30, 2017, submitted the charge sheet to the court, accusing eight people.
Talking to journalists, Public Prosecutor Shafiqul Islam yesterday said six accused, including Kader, gave confessional statements before magistrates.
A total of 59 prosecution witnesses were examined in the case. The trail began on April 8 last year and ended on October 31 this year.
Citing the verdict, Shafiqul said it was a pre-planned murder.
Expressing satisfaction over the verdict, Liton’s wife Khurshid Jahan Smrity said, “We want prompt implementation of the verdict. Kader Khan was a political rival of my husband and he had planned to eliminate his rival.”
Fahmida, plaintiff of the case, said she expected that the lower court’s verdict would be upheld by higher courts.
Kader’s lawyer Advocate Abdul Hamid said his client “became a victim of the situation” and he would file an appeal with the higher court against the verdict.
Police had picked up Kader from his house in Bogura town on February 21, 2017.
Two days later, law enforcers filed a separate case against him under the Arms Act after recovering a pistol, a magazine and ammunition stashed under a mango tree at his Sundarganj home.A Gaibandha court on June 11 this year awarded Kader with life term imprisonment for possessing the firearm and an additional 15 years for possessing ammunition.