A Pabna court has sentenced nine people to death, 25 to lifetime imprisonment and 13 others to 10 years in jail in a case filed for attacking a train carrying Sheikh Hasina, then leader of the opposition, at Ishwardi in Pabna in 1994.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Rustom Ali passed the order on Wednesday.
The death convicts are - Ishwardi BNP's general secretary Zakaria Pintu, former mayor of Ishwardi Moklesur Rahman Bablu, AKM Akhtaruzzaman, Rezaul Karim alias Shahin, Atol, Azizur Rohman, Shyamol, Mahbubur Rahman and Shamsul Alam. Among the convicts only Zakaria Pintu is at large.
Key dates of the incident-
Attack carried out- On September 23, 1994
Case filed- On September 24, 1994
Charge Sheet Submission- On April 4, 1997
Closing hearing- July 1, 2019
Verdict- July 3, 2019
On September 23, 1994, Sheikh Hasina was travelling from Khulna to Saidpur by train and holding rallies at railway stations. As her train reached Pakshey Railway Station in Pabna, it was attacked with crude bombs and gunshots.
Hasina managed to survive the assault carried out during BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's first term as prime minister.
Nazrul Islam, then officer-in-charge of Government Railway Police of Ishwardi station, filed the case against 135 people, including local leaders and activists of BNP and its front bodies, on September 24, 1994.
But the investigation hit a snag during the BNP's rule before picking up speed once the Awami League formed government in 1996.
After investigation, the Criminal Investigation Department submitted a charge sheet against 52 leaders and activists of BNP and associate bodies on April 4, 1997. Five of the accused have already died.