A Bangladesh court sentenced 26 people including a former city councillor extradited from India to death for the brutal murder of seven persons in Narayanganj in 2014.
Prime accused Awami League leader Nur Hossain and dismissed Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officers Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, Major Arif Hossain and Lt Commander MM Rana are among the convicts. Tareque is also the son-in-law of a minister in PM Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet.
After a trial, the judge found all the 35 suspects involved in the sensational Narayanganj case guilty in the abduction and murder of seven people. Nine others were awarded prison sentences ranging from 7 to 17 years.
The seven victims including Narayanganj City Councillor Nazrul Islam, his aides and lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar were abducted from Dhaka-Narayanganj link road in April 2014.
The lawyer filmed the abduction on his mobile phone and was then kidnapped along with his driver. They were killed and had their bellies cut.
Some days later of the incident, their bodies were found floating in the Shitalakkhya River. The main accused Hossain had escaped to India to evade the trial.
Shortly after he fled, West Bengal police arrested Hossain. BSF (Border Security Force) men handed over him to BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) on November 12, 2015, after he was freed from a jail in WB on a court order.
He allegedly bribed some officers of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for conducting the murders. Investigations revealed the 23 RAB personnel including a Lt Col and two navy officers were involved in the abduction and murder of the seven persons.
The councillor’s family claimed Hossain has paid 60 million Taka to the senior officers of the local RAB unit for the murders. Both Islam and Hossain belonged to the ruling Awami League.
The court delivered the verdict nearly a year after the court charged 35 people including 25 RAB personnel. But under the Bangladesh law, the High Court must approve their death penalties.