The Appellate Division of Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence awarded to Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid for killing intellectuals in 1971, during the period of the Liberation War.
A four-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice SK Sinha, however commuted Jamaat secretary general Mujahid’s death sentence to life-term for mass killing of Hindu people in Faridpur on May 13 in 1971. Mojaheed had been earlier sentenced to death by the tribunal for allegedly killing Hindu people.
The Appellate Division also acquitted Mujahid from the charge of killing journalist Seraj Uddin Hossain.
The bench pronounced the short verdict at about 9:06 am in a crowded court room amid tight security.
Earlier on May 27, the Apex Court had set June 16 for delivering the verdict in the appeal petition of this death row inmate after completing the hearing of both sides. On July 17, 2013, ICT-2 had sentenced Mujahid to death after finding him guilty in abetting the killing of eminent journalist Seraj Uddin Hossain and several other intellectuals in Dhaka on December 14, 1971.
As allegedly the chief of the notorious Al-Badr force he was also found guilty of ordering the killing of the people of Hindu community at Bakchar village under Faridpur on May 13, 1971.
The ICT-2 earlier had found Mujahid guilty of five charges among the seven and acquitted him in two other charges. Of them, the tribunal sentenced Mujahid to death in three charges relating to killing intellectuals including the journalist and killing Hindu people.
Mujahid was sentenced to life-term for the charge of ordering to kill detainees at an army camp at old MP hostel in Nakhalpar in the city and was also awarded five year jail for confining and torturing Ranjinath alias Babu Nath. Meanwhile, the Apellate Division (AD) upheld Mujahid’s conviction in four charges. It upheld Mujahid’s death sentence for killing intellectuals.
The AD however, commuted Mujahid’s death sentence to life-term for killing Hindus at Bakchar village. The AD also upheld the tribunal verdict that had sentenced Mujahid for ordering killing detainees at an army camp at old MP hostel in Nakhalpara.
The AD also upheld Mujahid’s sentence for five years for torturing and confining Ranjinath.
Mujahid’s lawyer Md Shishir Manir said that they were aggrieved at the verdict against which the defendant Mujahid would file petition seeking review after obtaining the full copy of the verdict with 15 days.
“Which intellectual did my father kill?” questions Mujahid’s son
Turning down the appeal verdict that upheld the death penalty handed down by War Crimes Tribunal (ICT-2) to the Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islam Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, younger son Ali Ahsan Mabrur expressed utter disappointment saying that they were denied justice.
Mujahid’s son Mabrur said, “Nobody could say about when, where and whom my father had killed during liberation war in 1971. In December 1970 when he was 23 year-old, he (Mujahid) came to Dhaka and got admitted to the Law Department of the University of Dhaka. The liberation war was started in March ’71. As he was merely a student, how he could spot all roads and lanes of the city as well as the intellectuals lived in Dhaka. And, how it could be possible for a 23 year-old student to kill a number of intellectuals. We are disappointed with the verdict. We are deprived of justice. Justice has been denied here.”
Protesting the verdict of death penalty he said, “No relative of intellectual martyrs or victims brought allegations to the tribunal against my father that he killed intellectual(s) in 1971. I, therefore, have a question to the nation that on what ground my father was awarded death sentence. I want to know from the nation.”
He came up with this reaction on Tuesday morning immediately after the Appellate Division upheld the death penalty against his father Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid for killing intellectuals at the fag end of the Liberation War in 1971.
Jamaat protests verdict; calls for 24 hour hartal on Wednesday
Protesting the appeal verdict that upheld the death penalty handed down against Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and demanding his immediate release, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami has called a 24-hour hartal starting from 6:00am tomorrow (Wednesday).
Jamaat called the 24-hour hartal on Wednesday in a press statement, signed by the acting Jamaat Ameer (chief) Makbul Ahmed, posted on the party website on Tuesday shortly after the appeal verdict was pronounced against it Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.
“The party is set to enforce hartal from 6am Wednesday to 6am Thursday,” read the press statement.
The acting Jamaat chief said they are extremely disappointed over the appeal verdict that upheld the death sentence handed down against its Secretary General.
Claiming that the allegations brought against Mojaheed were false, baseless and conspiratorial, Makbul Ahmed what he says it is the conspiracy to kill their leaders in the name of war crimes trial.
Source: BdChronicle and Newage