Killing of Six in Aminbazar: 13 sentenced to death, 19 to life
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced 13 people to death and 19 others to life imprisonment for the killing of six students in Aminbazar on the outskirts of the capital more than 10 years ago.
Judge Ismat Jahan of the Second Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka handed down the sentences in presence of 47 accused in a packed courtroom, said Assistant Public Prosecutor Shakila Jeasmin Mitu.
The death-row convicts are: Abdul Malek, Sayeed Member, Abdur Rashid, Ismail Hossain Repu, Nihar alias Jamsher Ali, Mir Hossain, Majibur Rahman, Anowar Hossain, Razzab Ali Sohag, Mohammd Alam, Mohammad Rana, Abdul Hamid and Aslam Mia. They were also fined TK 20,000 each.
Twenty-five other accused were acquitted by the court as their involvement in the killings was not proved beyond doubt. Accused Kabir Hossain, Mohammad Rashed and Sabbir Ahmed were acquitted as they died during the trial.
Soon after the delivery of the verdict, some convicts broke down in tears in the dock, said court sources.
The judge in the verdict said the prosecution was able to prove the charges against 32 accused beyond doubt and they were given punishments.
The convicts with a common intention killed the victims, treating them robbers, which was a heinous offence, said the judgement.
The punishment of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender, it added.
The convicts can now appeal to the High Court within seven days from the receipt of the judgement copy.
The 19 accused sentenced to life in prison are: Shahin Ahmed, Farid Khan, Rajib Hossain, Mohammad Wasim, Mohammad Sattar, Mohammad Salim, Monir Hossain, Mohammad Alamgir, Mobarak Hossain, Akhil Khondaker, Mohammad Bashir, Mohammad Rubel, Nur Islam, Shahdat Hossain Jewel, Mohammad Tutul, Mohammad Masud, Mohammad Mokles, Mohammad Toton and Mohammad Saiful. They were also fined Tk 10,000 each.
In the early hours of the Shab-e-Barat on July 18, 2011, a mob killed the six youths near Aminbazar bridge and took their bodies to Keblarchar, more than half a kilometre off, on the instructions of police. They then called the villagers and said they caught robbers.
The mob started bludgeoning the six, without knowing the ill-fated youths had already gone beyond all pain and this was how the murder became known as an incident of mob beating.
Of the six, Towhidur Rahman Palash, Kamruzzaman Kanto and Ibrahim Khalil were students of Government Bangla College in Mirpur, Shams Rahim Shamam of Maple Leaf International School, Tipu Sultan of Tejgaon College and Sitaf Jabi Munif of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology.
Only Al Amin survived the brutal attack, but he and the six other victims were accused in a robbery case filed by local trader Abdul Malek.
Later, Al Amin was cleared of the charges after police found that the victims were not robbers.
Following the development, Anowar Hossain, sub-inspector of Savar Police Station, filed a murder case against Malek and several others in connection with the incident.
During the investigation, 14 accused, including Malek, confessed to different magistrates about their involvement in the killings.
A judicial probe body submitted its report on September 8, 2011 saying that they had found negligence by police in protecting the students, who had gone to Bardeshi village from the capital's Darussalam.
Eight policemen were suspended after the filing of the judicial probe report.
On January 7 of 2013, Investigation Officer Sharif Uddin Ahmed, an additional superintendent of police at Rab, pressed charges against 60 people in the case, excluding eight suspended cops.
The court on July 8 that year framed charges against the 60 accused.
Speaking to reporters on the court premises, the family members of the victims yesterday expressed satisfaction over the judgement and urged the authorities concerned to execute it soon.
Abdul Kader Suruj, father of deceased Kamruzzaman, said they were satisfied with the verdict.
However, the relatives of the accused were seen bursting into tears outside the courtroom after the delivery of the judgement. They said they would challenge the verdict at the higher court.
One Taskin Ahmed said, "Twenty of the convicts are our relatives. We have been wiped out. What will I say after returning home?"
Rakib, a relative of the convicts, said: "My two uncles have been convicted, but they were not involved in the incident. They were not in the area on the day of occurrence of the incident. Even then they have been punished."