Looking back at 2021’s noteworthy judgments

Several important cases, which went on for years, were disposed of in Dhaka's lower courts in 2021, amid the pandemic.

Judgments for murder cases of bloggers Faisal Arefin Dipan and Avijit Roy, LGBT rights activists Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, and Buet student Abrar Fahad were much-talked about.

The graft case of former chief justice SK Sinha was also in the public eye.

On February 10, Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal sentenced eight members of banned militant group Ansar al-Islam to death for killing Faisal Arefin Dipan.

Dipan, publisher of Jagriti Prokashani, was stabbed to death at his Shahbagh office on October 31, 2015.

The same tribunal on February 16 sentenced five members of Ansar al-Islam to death and another to life in jail for killing Avijit Roy.

On February 26, 2015, assailants attacked US-based Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya with sharp weapons near TSC on Dhaka University campus, when the couple was walking out of Ekushey Boi Mela.

The tribunal on August 31 sentenced six members of Ansar al-Islam to death for killing LGBT rights activists Xulhaz and Tonoy.

On April 25, 2016, Xulhaz was hacked to death in his home at Dhaka's Kalabagan along with his friend Tonoy.

Two of the convicts -- Maj (sacked) Zia and Akram Hossain -- are still on the run.

On December 8, Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 sentenced 20 students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to death and five to life imprisonment for killing their fellow student Abrar Fahad.

In the early hours of October 7, 2019, Fahad, a second-year student of electrical and electronics engineering department at Buet, died after he was brutally beaten by some Chhatra League men at the university's Sher-e-Bangla Hall.

On March 23, the same tribunal sentenced 14 militants to death and ordered that they be "publicly executed by the firing squad" for attempting to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

A sedition case was filed against them for trying to kill Sheikh Hasina by planting a 76 kg bomb in Kotalipara of Gopalganj in July 2000.

On November 9, former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment in a graft case. Eight others were sentenced to different terms of jail.

Special Judge's Court-4 of Dhaka also fined Sinha Tk 45 lakh, and asked to confiscate Tk 78 lakh from him.

Justice Sinha resigned on November 11, 2017, from abroad. He is now in the US.

On December 2, the Second Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court sentenced 13 people to death and 19 to life imprisonment for killing six students in Aminbazar, on the outskirts of the capital, more than 10 years ago.

In the early hours of Shab-e-Barat on July 18, 2011, a mob killed the students there.

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.


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