The Ahsanullah Master murder case made headlines on Sunday
April 17 as 22 of the accused were sentenced to death by a
Dhaka court. This is the highest number of capital punishment
ever awarded in a single criminal case.
also handed down similar punishments to the same accused for
the death of a young man, Omar Faruq Ratan in the same shooting.
include 17 BNP men while three belonging to the Awami League
and two to Jatiya Party.
of the killing Nurul Islam Sarkar, a Jubo Dal leader and brother
of a BNP leader of Tongi is behind bars along with 11 others.
Sixteen of the accused have managed to escape.
elaborated that Ahsanullah Master was an ideal teacher and
social worker and peoples' representation worked to eradicate
drug peddling and crime from his constituency. His death the
judge said had deprived the nation of his welfare services
for the people.
Ahsanullah's family has sad that they were satisfied with
the verdict, Sheikh Hasina, AL's chief has termed the judgement
as "incomplete." She says that the real culprits
behind the assassination have gone scot-free. She added that
the party believes that the high-ups of the BNP-Jamaat led
ruling coalition were involved in it. Hasina says that it
would not have been possible for local leaders to kill such
a popular political figure without the green signal from the
BNP high command.
said that was the same ploy as was used in the Shah AMS Kibria's
murder in which the local BNP leaders were accused while the
masterminds were saved. Of course all this did not stop her
from cashing in on the verdict as she pointed out tat at least
it shows that BNP leaders are involved in political assassinations
of AL leaders -- something that AL has been harping on for
Killed in Border Clash
At least three Bangladeshis including a girl have been killed
in a fierce encounter between Indian Security Force (BSF)
and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) on Akhaura border on April 16.
was identified as Nahid Akhtar, age 10, of Anwarpur village.
But the identities of the two others could not be known as
the BSF took away their bodies. There are speculations that
the death toll might be more than three. Unconfirmed reports
put the figure at five.
said that BSF men entered Fakirmura village of Akhaura upazilla
at about 5:00pm and opened fire on the BDR, who had resisted
the intruders. The BDR returned fire and the shootout that
ensued saw the use of sophisticated firearms by both the border
guards of the neighbouring countries.
Nahid, the villagers said that Bullet-hit girl was taken to
the Akhaura Health Complex where she died. The BSF took away
the bodies of the two Bangladeshis who died in the shootout
while two other bodies were reported to have been lying on
people of Fakirmura, Anwarpur, Kuripaika, Hirapur and Klyanpur
villages took refuge in Akhaura sadar, said the officials
of the upazilla adminstration and police.
Officer of 7 Rifles Battalion Lt Col Sayed Quamruzzaman was
on the frontline during the shootout. The director (operations)
of the BDR accused the BSF men of trespassing into Bangladesh
territory and assaulting several local villagers. "They
looted some of the houses and forcibly tried to take away
few villagers," he told The Daily Star. However many
testified that the villagers countred the attack and injured
some of the BSF men.
come the Police
Last week the police in Satkhira helped the International
Khatme Nabuwat Movement (IKNM), an anti-Ahmadiyya group, hang
a banner on the wall of an Ahmadiyya mosque. The banner read,
"This is a place of worship for Kadianis, no Muslim should
mistake it for a mosque".
in the district's Sundarban Bazaar area panicked when hordes
of zealots led by IKNM, armed with sticks, machetes and darts,
tried to gherao the sect's mosque. When the procession got
closer, local Ahmadiyyas resisted the bigots from hanging
the signboard. Over 50 people, including six women and a number
of children, were injured when the IKNM faithful pelted stones
at the members of the sect. Seeing the anti-Ahmadiyya group
in trouble, the police, who were stationed nearby, came with
a flag of rescue. Presumably, following the instigation of
the Bangladesh Nationalist Party high command, policemen fired
blanks in the air. Frightened by the sound of gunshots, Ahmadiyyas
backed off, and IKNM members stepped in to hang the signboard.
At one point, partly to look it more official, partly out
of generosity, IKNM leaders requested the police to hang the
board, which the men in blue happily complied. Magistrate
Mina Masuduzzaman, Deputy Inspector General of Police Sohrab
Hossain and Superintendent of Police in Satkhira Abdur Rahim
were present when the policemen hung the signboard.
after this disturbing incident a group of bigots started to
loot the houses belonging to Ahmadiyyas. Shocking it is surely,
but the incident is not at all new. The government has recently
budged to the IKNM and banned all the publications of the
Ahmadiyya community in the country. Though the followers of
the sect have not been officially declared as heretics, police
help in anti-Ahmadiyya campaign suggests the government's
silent nod to the persecution of the community.
Enrages BNP, Jubo Dal Men
Supporters of Nurul Islam Sarkar, the main convict given death
sentence in the Awami League (AL) lawmaker Ahsanullah Master
killing case, went on a rampage at Tongi. They ransacked the
Tongi Pourashava Chairman's office and damaged his Pajero
Jeep in the afternoon of April 17.
Islam Sarkar along with 21 other Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP) men were awarded capital punishment by a court in Dhaka
for masterminding and executing the killing of the popular
AL leader. The verdict provoked the local BNP and Jubo Dal
men. According to witnesses, some 25 cadres stormed into the
pourashava office allegedly in an attempt to hit Chairman
AKM Mozammel Haq, who is also the general secretary of the
of pourashabha employees were injured in the incident, as
they tried to resist the miscreants. Before they went out
for the rampage family members of Nurul Islam Sarkar along
with some Jubo Dal and BNP cadres brought out a procession
in the industrial town and set fire to tires blocking traffic
movement in protest against the verdict.
however dispersed the agitators. Additional forces were deployed
in the area to curb further violence.
Three Makes Noise
After an eerie lull in bomb blasts there are hints that another
spate of bomb-related violence may be imminent. Three powerful
bombs were seized from the district Shechchasebak League office
in Meherpur on April 18. Former Awami League (AL) leader Abdul
Mannan was supposed to hold a meeting later in the evening,
on the eve of Mujibnagar Day. Police who searched the office
found the three bombs hidden in a bag and said that they were
powerful devices that must have been smuggled from across
the border. Two persons were arrested from the spot.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005