The High Court (HC) has observed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly faced assassination attempts by militants because she is a woman leader.
The court said it would be unreasonable to treat such offences as mere attempts because the culprits reached the threshold of their goal to achieve the original motive. All the conspirators point to Mufti Hannan and others for the Taliban-style killings.
The HC has given this observation in the full verdict in the case of the bombing assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Kotalipara of Gopalganj on 21 July 2000.
The HC bench comprising Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim and Justice Md Badruzzaman, on 17 February, upheld the death sentence of 10 militants in the case. The 86-page full verdict was uploaded to the Supreme Court website on Monday.
The verdict said, "The confessional statements of the accused and the overall review show that the accused are reluctant to abide by the prevailing laws of the country. They want to reflect their thinking through militant activities. But their thinking never supports the country's customary law. Because they are all citizens of this country by birth, the crime they have committed by conspiring and planting two bombs is horrible and heinous. In this situation, I do not think that there is an opportunity for some prisoners [convicted convicts] to have their sentences reduced from a long imprisonment."
The verdict further said, "The accused had mentioned in their confessional statement that they had conspired to kill the then Prime Minister and her entourage through sabotage and destructive acts. As part of that conspiracy, they collected explosives and made two bombs and planted them at the scene. According to the conspiracy, the accused made great preparations to make two bombs and bury them in the ground so that the destructive incidents could take place."
The HC on 17 February upheld the death sentence of 10 people, life imprisonment of one person, and 14 years imprisonment of another, in the case of the attempted murder of Sheikh Hasina in Kotalipara, also known as the 76-kg bomb case. The lower court acquitted Sarwar Hossain Mia, a primary school teacher who was sentenced to 14 years in prison. The HC issued the order after reviewing the death references sent by the lower court for approval of the death sentence and the appeals of the jailed accused.
The convicted whose death sentences have been upheld are, Wasim Akhtar alias Tareq Hossain alias Marfat Ali, Md Rashed Driver alias Abul Kalam alias Shimon Khan, Md Yusuf alias Abu Musa Harun alias Mosahab Moral, Sheikh Farid alias Maulana Shawkat Osman, Hafez Jahangir Alam Badr, Maulana Abu Bakkar alias Hafez Selim Hawlader, Hafez Maulana Yahya, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman, Mufti Abdul Hai, and Mowlana Abdur Rauf alias Abdur Razzak alias Abu Omar.
the HC has also upheld life imprisonment of Mehdi Hasan alias Gazi Khan alias Abdul Wadud, and 14 years of imprisonment for Anisul alias Anis, and Md Mohibullah. However, the two have been asked to be released from jail since they have already been convicted and have been in jail. Sarwar Hossain Mia, who was sentenced to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment in the lower court, has been released.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin appeared for the state in the case, while lawyer SM Shahjahan, lawyer Mohammad Ahsan, and lawyer Md Nasiruddin, appeared for the accused. Amulya Kumar Sarkar was the state-appointed lawyer for the fugitives accused.