Militant leader Mufti Mohammad Abdul Hannan will have to walk the gallows over the 2004 grenade attack on the then UK envoy as the president has rejected his clemency plea.The Harkat-ul-Jihadi al Islami (HuJI) leader’s accomplices Sharif Shahedul Alam alias Bipul and Delwar Hossain alias Ripon, who had pleaded guilty and sought pardon, have also been turned down, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Sunday.
“Preparations are underway in line with the jail code to carry out the sentences,” Khan told reporters in his office.
Convicts Mufti Hannan and Bipul are now being kept at Kashimpur High Security Prison in Gazipur while Ripon at the Sylhet Central Jail.
In a last-ditch attempt, the trio on Mar 27 pleaded President Abdul Hamid to spare their lives.
Prison authorities forwarded the petitions to the home ministry, which was then sent to the law ministry.
The law ministry forwarded it to the president, which has sent it back to the home ministry.
Kashimpur prison’s Superintendent Md Mizanur Rahman told bdnews24.com on Saturday that they were yet to receive any order from the ministry.
On May 21, 2004, the then British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury came under a grenade attack at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal in Sylhet.
Three, including two policemen, died in the attack but the envoy survived.
Hannan, Bipul and Ripon were given death penalties in the case in 2008, while two others Mohibullah and Abu Jandal were sentenced to life in prison.
Seven years into the announcement of that verdict, the High Court started hearing the appeal of the defence and the death reference on Jan 6 last year.
The High Court upheld the verdict of the trial court on Feb 11, 2016 and published the full verdict on Apr 28.
Hannan challenged the order but his petition was turned down by the Appellate Division on Dec 7 last year.
On Jan 17, the convicts pleaded for a review of the order, but failed to secure a verdict in their favour.
Educated at madrasas, top HuJI leader Mufti Hannan hails from Gopalganj and is infamous for being one of the initiators of militant activities in Bangladesh.
He is said to be the mastermind of 13 terrorist attacks, including an attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s life, perpetrated by the banned militant group Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (HuJI).
He faces trial for planting a bomb made with 76kg of explosives near the venue of a public rally addressed by Hasina at Kotaliparha in 2000.
Hannan has been sentenced to death for the 2001 bombings at Dhaka’s Ramna Park on Bangla New Year’s Day.
On Mar 6 this year, a prison van carrying him from court to Gazipur’s Kashimpur prison came under a bomb attack, in what the police say was an attempt to snatch him.