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2 sentenced to death for blasts in Shariatpur

A Shariatpur court yesterday sentenced two activists of the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh to death for their involvement in the 2005 series bomb blasts in the district.

As part of its countrywide terror campaign, the JMB on August 17 that year simultaneously blasted several bombs at the office of Shariatpur deputy commissioner, court premises, in front of Dak Bungalow and in Palong Bazar area of the district.

That day, the Islamist outfit exploded bombs in 63 districts out of 64.

The two to die for the Shariatpur blasts are Kamruzzaman alias Swapan, 27, and Malek Bepari alias Malek Zehadi, 28.

The duo was present when the judge of the District and Sessions Judge's Court Mohammad Sajedul Karim pronounced the verdict around 1:00pm, said Public Prosecutor Mirza Hazrat Ali.

Following the blasts, Shariatpur Sadar Police Station Sub-inspector Badruzzaman filed a case against some unidentified people.

Later, investigation officer of the case Kamal Hossain submitted the charge sheet accusing the two along with the then JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and its operations commander Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai.

The court accepted the charge sheet on January 2, 2006, and framed charges against them on January 18 the same year.

Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai were among the six militants executed in March 2007 for killing two Jhalakathi judges.

Their executions marked the end of country's first overt militancy campaign that rattled the nation through its 2005 coordinated blasts and suicide bombings.

The then BNP-Jamaat alliance government had dismissed the existence of Islamic militancy, and had even gone on to describe JMB operations commander Bangla Bhai as mere creation of the media.

But later on February 23, 2005, the government was forced to ban JMB and its offshoot Jagrata Muslim Janata, Bangladesh (JMJB) that sought to establish shariah law.

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