The first court of Rajshahi Divisional Special Judge yesterday sentenced seven militants of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for life in connection with the August 17 serial bomb blast case filed with Motihar Police Station.
The convicts include JMB's regional ammunition supplier Torikul Islam, Rajshahi district commander Shafiullah Tarek Kalam, and a zonal JMB commander Abu Isa alias Enamul Haque Mithu, Hasan Ali Ekhwan, Jahangir Alam Abidur and Arif alias Alal.
Sheikh Enamul Haq Moni, an adherent of militant kingpin Asadullah Al Galib, is convicted in absentia. He commanded JMB's western zone in Rajshahi till 2006 in guise of a journalist.
Torikul was arrested in Godagari, near the Indian border, with 5,000 detonators in December 2005 while others with ammunitions at different times.
M Motazidur Rahman, judge of the court, also fined them Tk 20,000 each and in case of defaults they will undergo two more years of rigorous imprisonment, said public prosecutor Moklesur Rahman Swapan.
Police brought charges under sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substances Act 1908 for masterminding, financing and instigating the blast, possessing and detonating explosives illegally and causing panic and loss of lives and properties. But the accused were convicted only under Section 3, said Moklesur Rahman.
JMB militants orchestrated 500 nearly synchronised blasts across the country except in one district with a call for so-called Islamist Jihad on August 17, 2005.
In the charges pressed in June 2006, JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai and Abdul Awal were also accused in the case lodged by Sub Inspector Khater Ali. But these three were relieved of the charges following their execution in 2007.