BISWAJIT MURDER VERDICT: Two years on, 13 out of 21 convicts still absconding

A file photo shows Bangladesh Chhatra League activists attacking Bishwajit Kumar Das during a countrywide opposition blockade programme  in 2012. — New Age photo

A file photo shows Bangladesh Chhatra League activists attacking Bishwajit Kumar Das during a countrywide opposition blockade programme
in 2012. — New Age photo

Out of 21Chhatra League activists convicted for murdering Bishwajit Kumar Das two years ago 13 are still absconding. The absconding convicts are traceless say the police thought at least three of them were seen openly taking part in political events of front organizations of ruling Awami League in the capital. The murder of the 24-year old tailor two years ago today sent shockwaves across the nation. Repeated knifing in full public view by a group of BCL activists near Bahadur Shah Park that caused Biswajit’s death was broadcast by TV networks. Biswajit fell victim of the BCL leaders and activists, students and former students of Jaganath University, during a countrywide blockade called by the opposition. On December 18, 2013, speedy trial tribunal-4 of Dhaka sentenced eight Chhatra League leaders to death and 13 to life terms. Six out of eight death row convicts  and two out of 13 sentenced to life terms are in Dhaka Central Jail. Two of the BCL men sentenced to death in absentia   have fled the country. ‘As far as we know, the principal  condemned convict Rajon Talukdar is hiding in Kolkata and Mir Nur-e-Alam Limon might have fled to Singapore,’ detective branch inspector Tajul Islam, the investigator of the sensational Bishwajit murder case told New Age Monday. Eleven others sentenced to life terms, in absentia are also absconding, he said. On August 15 Azizur Rahman was seen  attending a political event on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital, according to a report published by a leading Bangla daily last month. According to the same report, on August 25, Imran Hossain was seen attending a programme of Jagannath University BCL unit while Kamrul Hasan was seen participating at a Chhatra League rally at Suhrawardi Udyan on August 31. Rickshaw puller Ripon, the prime witness of the murder, who took Bishwajit to hospital from the spot is reported to have been forced to flee after the perpetrators were convicted on the basis of his evidence. He had to leave Naria, the village in Shariatpur, from where he comes and is on the run to save himself from the wrath of BCL men. He earns his living as helper of bus drivers to avoid detection by the persecutors. Officers in charge of Pirgachha,  Kamlakanda and Khan Jahan Ali police stations assigned to arrest the three BCL men, who were spotted in the capital, said that after receiving  the warrants on searching their village homes they were not found there. The officer-in charge of the capital’s Sutrapur police station Khalilur Rahman said that he had forwarded the  warrants  to the concerned police stations  to nab the absconding convicts. Bishwajit’s eldest brother Uttam Kumar Das called the police account that they did not find the convicts not at all credible when journalists could see them openly attending political events. Uttam urged the government to take the initiative for speedy disposal of the  appeals of the convicts now in jail. The High Court is yet to hear the death penalty reference although the trial court had on December 31, 2013 sent its verdict to the HC for confirmation. HC officials said they were taking the preparations to submit before the death reference bench documents relating to death sentences awarded by trial courts until 2010. They said that 374 death penalty references await hearing, 43 of 2010 and 330 of three subsequent years. They said that the hearing on Bishwajit murder death penalty reference could be advanced only on special instruction from the chief justice.

Source: New Age