Assistant Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Abdul Quader Mollah has been executed at Dhaka Central Jail at 10.01PM Thursday.
“Quader Mollah has been hanged at 10:01 pm,” IGP Prisons Main Uddin Khandaker told after the execution.
He was hanged in presence of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Dhaka, and civil surgeon and magistrate amid tight security in and around the jail, said a prison official.
Earlier Bangladesh’s highest court has upheld the execution of top opposition leader Abdul Quader Mollah over war crimes.
The Supreme Court ruling on Thursday means the Jamaat-e-Islami leader will become the first person executed for his role in atrocities perpatrated during the country’s 1971 war of independence.
Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, the convicted man’s lawyer, said that Mollah could be executed in 21 to 28 days’ time, but that the assistant secretary-general of the Jamaat-e-Islami and his relatives could pray for presidential mercy.
“My client has been deprived of fair justice,” Hossain said. “But since the highest court has made the decision we have nothing more to say.”
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the government would now decide when the execution will take place. “There are no more barriers to execute Quader Mollah. There is no chance of any confusion,” he said on Thursday.
The case has heightened political tension less than a month before elections are due. Jamaat-e-Islami is barred from contesting elections but plays a key role in the opposition movement led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
The Supreme Court passed the order of a review petition filed by Mollah against its verdict, awarding him the death penalty for his wartime offences. He had originally been due to be hanged at 18:00GMT on Tuesday, his lawyer said, but the court delayed the execution to consider his petition.
His original life sentence had been overturned by the Supreme Court in September, after mass protests called for him to be hanged.
A panel of five judges led by Chief Justice Mohammad Mojammel Hossain rejected the petition after hearing arguments on the appeal against the death penalty, a state prosecutor said.
Mollah is one of five opposition leaders condemned to death by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), set up in 2010 to investigate atrocities perpetrated during the 1971 conflict, in which three million people died.
Critics of the tribunal say it has been used as a political tool by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is locked in a political feud with BNP leader Begum Khaleda Zia, as a way of weakening the opposition ahead of January 5 elections.
But many Bangladeshis support the court, believing that those convicted of war crimes should be punished, underlining how the events of 42 years ago still resonate in the impoverished, divided nation of 160 million people.
Source: BD Chronicle