Dhaka – The banned Islamist outfit Harkatul Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI) is now suffering from a serious setback as 11 top leaders including its supreme Mufti Abdul Hannan have been sentenced to death, and eight others to life term, official news agency BSS reported on Saturday.
A total of 38 cases were filed against the HuJI operatives. Trial in four cases have already been completed and 28 cases are under trial while final reports in four cases have been submitted, the report said quoting police headquarters sources said.
Law enforcers have so far arrested 208 operatives of the HuJI including Mufti Abdul Hannan.
The HuJI came to light after a failed attempt to assassinate the humanist poet Shamsur Rahman in 1999. It was accused of dozens of bomb attacks including an attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Kotalipara, Gopalganj in 2000.
It is also accused of carrying out bomb attacks on a Bengali New Year celebration programme at Ramna Batamul on April 14, 2001, in which, 10 people were killed many others injured.
HuJI is also accused of carrying out grenade attacks on awami League rally, at Bangabandhu Avenue, in which 24 people were killed and over 500 people suffered critical injuries on August 21, 2004 grenade attacks.
The HuJI is implicated in attempt to assassinate former British High Commissioner Anwar
Choudhury in 2005, in Sylhet three people were killed. Anwar Choudhury suffered injuries.
On June 23, 2014, a Dhaka court sentenced HuJI top leader Mufti Abdul Hannan and seven others to death and six others to life imprisonment in the case filed in connection with the bomb attacks on the celebrations of Bangla New Year at Ramna Batamul in 2001.
Seven other death sentenced convicts areL Arif Hasan Sumon, Maolana Akbar Hossain, Maolana Md Tajuddin, Hafez Jahangir Alam Badr, Maulana Abu Bakr alias Hafez Selim Howladar, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman and Mufti Abdul Hai. Death sentenced Tajuddin, Jahangir, Abu Bakr, Shafiqur Rahman and Abdul Hai are at large.
Shahadatullah Jewel, Maulana Sabbir alias Abdul Hannan Sabbir, Maulana Shawkat Osman alias Sheikh Farid, Hafez Maulana Yahia, Maolana Abdur Rouf and Hafez Maulana Abu Taher were awarded life imprisonment.
Mufti Abdul Hannan was awarded death also in a case relating to attempt to assassinate former British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in 2005.
A total of 183 cases relating to militancy have been deposed of sentencing 69 to death, awarding life terms to 162 and different jail terms to 239 others. A total of 364 more cases are now under trial, police headquarters sources have been quoted to have said.
Fifty six, eleven and two members of the banned militant outfits Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkutul Jihad Al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI), and ABT have been awarded death sentences respectively.
Some 145 cases against JMB men have so far been disposed of, 183 cases are under trial while trial in four cases have been completed and 28 cases under trial, 33 cases were disposed of against operatives of another banned militant outfit Hizbut Tahrir and 124 cases were under trial.
Trial in 2 cases against militant outfit Hizbullah, 8 cases against Allahar Dal, and 4 cases against Hizbut Tahrir Ulama Bangladesh, are now under trial.
A total of 2,856 operatives of different militant outfits have so far been arrested while the number of the fugitives is 660, the report said.
Of the arrestees, 1,793 militants are from JMB, 208 from HuJIB, 693 from Hizbut Tahrir, 23 from Hizbullah, 80 from Allahar Dal, eight from Hizbut Tawhid, 28 from Hizbut Tawhir Ulaiyah Bangladesh, 14 from Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, and 10 from Shaheed Hamza Brigade.
The JMB is facing most of the 591 cases of militancy, while Hizbut Tahrir is facing the second largest number of cases. – The report added – News Desk