Verdict now on June 23
A Dhaka court has rescheduled the Ramna Batamul carnage case verdict for June 23 as the judge could not complete writing the judgement yesterday, prolonging the justice seekers' 13-year wait for one more week.
“I could not complete writing the judgement of the case. So, I shifted the date,” said Judge Ruhul Amin of the Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka, who was scheduled to pronounce the verdict yesterday.
During the traditional celebrations of the Bangla New Year, 1408 (April 14, 2001) at the Ramna Batamul, several blasts killed 10 people and injured around 50 others. Leading cultural platform Chhayanaut organises the event every year.
On completion of arguments from the prosecution and the defence on May 28, the judge fixed yesterday for delivery of the judgment in the long-drawn killing case.
Nine accused, out of 14, including Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, were produced before the court yesterday.
Family members of the victims, visitors and a large number of journalists thronged the judges' court in the city's old part and security was beefed up in and around the court premises ahead of the verdict.
Following the gruesome bomb blast, two cases -- one for the killing and the other under the explosive substances act -- were filed with Ramna Police Station in this connection.
It took the investigators over seven-years to trace Huji links with the attack. On November 30, 2008, the Criminal Investigation Department pressed charges against the 14 leaders and activists of the banned militant outfit in both cases.
The accused are: Mufti Abdul Hannan, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman, Maulana Yahiya, Mufti Abdul Hye, Maulana Shawkat Osman alias Sheikh Farid, Maulana Abu Bakar alias Selim Hawlader, Maulana Mohammad Tajuddin, Maulana Abdul Hannan Sabbir, Arif Hasan Suman, Maulana Akbar Hossain alias Helaluddin, Maulana Abu Taher, Maulana Abdur Rouf, Hafez Jahangir Alam Badar, and Shahadat Ullah alias Jewel.
Of them, Hannan, Suman, Jewel, Abu Taher, Sheikh Farid, Sabbir, Rouf, Yahiya and Akbar are behind bars, while the others, including Tajuddin, younger brother of BNP leader Abdus Salam Pintu, are still at large.
However, the case filed under the explosive substances act is stuck now at trial level.