Kotalipara Bomb Plot: Attempt on PM’s life disgraceful chapter for nation
The attempt of perpetrators to kill Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by detonating bombs in Gopalganj in 2000 is an ignominious chapter for the nation, the HC said in the full text of the verdict on the Kotalipara bomb plot case.
On February 17 this year, the HC delivered the short verdict on the death reference and appeals in connection with the case filed over the attempt to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In the full text of the 86-page verdict released yesterday, the bench observed that the conspiring accused had in fact planned to kill the person who was in office as the head of the legitimate government.
The court said it has been found after reviewing confessional statements of the accused that their mindsets had been created from an unreal and illusive concept.
"It has also been found that some of the conspirators had joined different militant organisations in Pakistan and Afghanistan and received training on militant activities," the HC judges said in the full text.
The HC also said the convicted accused's beliefs that "a female leader in the country is not allowed in Islam and [so] they would resist the system" are not supported by Islam in any manner because it is a religion of peace.
The convicted accused are reluctant to abide by the existing laws of the country and want to establish their beliefs in the country, which is not accepted by the laws, the court said.
"The offences they [convicts] committed by planting two powerful bombs were very much appalling and heinous, and therefore there is no scope to commute their sentences considering their long time in custody," the HC bench said in the verdict.
The bench said if perpetrators were successful in detonating two powerful bombs, weighing 76kg and 40kg, in Gopalganj's Kotalipara in July 2000, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was supposed to address a rally there, the incident would be similar to the August 15 massacre.
The HC judges also said the 76kg bomb was recovered on July 21, 2000, and two days later, the 40kg bomb was recovered at the Sheikh Lutfor Rahman Ideal College in Kotalipara, where the Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was supposed to address a rally on July 22, 2000. The rally was cancelled after the recovery of the first bomb.
The convicts whose death sentences were confirmed by the HC are: Wasim Akter alias Tarek, Rashed alias Abul Kalam, Yusuf Alias Moshab Morol, Sheikh Farid alias Maulana Shawkat Osman, Hafez Zahangir Alam Badar, Maulana Abu Bakar alias Hafez Selim Howlader, Hafez Maulana Yahia, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman, Mufti Abdul Hye and Maulana Abdur Rauf alias Abdur Razzaque.
The HC upheld the life imprisonment of Mehedi Hasan alias Abdur Wadud. It upheld the lower court verdict that sentenced Anisul Islam alias Anis and Mohibullah alias Mofizur Rahman to 14 years' imprisonment.
It, however, ordered the authorities concerned to release Mohibullah if he is not arrested in any other case as he has already served 14 years in jail.
The HC bench acquitted Sarwar Hossain Mia as the prosecutors failed to prove allegations against him.
Deputy Attorney General Dr Md Bashir Ullah told The Daily Star that, among the 10 death-row convicts, Yusuf Alias Moshab Morol, Hafez Zahangir Alam Badar, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman and Mufti Abdul Hye are absconding.
He said the death penalty of six other death-row convicts, who are now in condemned cells, can be executed if they do not file any appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court challenging the HC verdict.
They may file an appeal in 60 days after receiving the certified copy of the HC verdict, DAG Bashir Ullah said, adding that mastermind and Huji leader Mufti Abdul Hannan was found guilty but was acquitted as he was executed on April 12, 2017, at Kashimpur High-Security Prison for killing three people and injuring former British high commissioner to Bangladesh and a dozen others in Sylhet.