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Sunday, June 12, 2016, Jaistha 29, 1423 BS, Ramadan 6, 1437 Hijri

Target killings aimed at hindering war crimes trial
Observer Online Desk
Published :Sunday, 12 June, 2016,  Time : 7:08 PM  View Count : 7
A shadowy nexus of Jamaat-e-Islami and its like-minded homegrown terrorist outfits has been carrying out target killings across the country on or before the judgment or execution of verdicts of notorious war criminals, officials told BSS. 

Some 27 incidents of such killings occurred across the country either preceded or followed in close proximity, centering the dates of court proceedings and executions of the top anti-liberation forces including Jamaat leaders, standing as a testament to a strong connection between the trials and militant attacks.

The Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chaatra Shibir (ICS) in the guise of different militant outfits have been unleashing terrorist acts aiming to give the law and order situation a negative picture before the world and exert international pressure on the government to stop further executions, AKM Shahidul Haque, Inspector General of Police (IGP) said.

According to Chief Coordinator of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) Abdul Hannan Khan: "Analysing the pattern of the killing, it can be said that, every execution of convicted war criminals appears to have a direct link with those killings since the death sentences awarded against their top leaders for their crimes against humanity seems a political defeat for the Jamaat and its subscribers".

In this month, the string of the killings struck the country just two days before the Supreme Court released full verdict upholding the death penalty for a top Jamaat leader Mir Quasem Ali on June 5.

On that day, Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, wife of a Police Super (SP) Babul Akhter, was hacked and then shot to death while a Christian grocer in Baraigram upazila of Natore was hacked to death on the same day. 

Hours before the prison authorities read out the death warrant to war criminal Mir Quasem Ali, a Hindu monastery worker was hacked to death in a temple at Hemayetpur in Pabna on June 10 while another Hindu cleric Ananda Gopal Ganguly was killed in a similar fashion in Jhenaidah on June 7. With the killing of an avid war crimes trial campaigner Rajib Haider on February 15 in 2013 the Jamaat and militant outfits started target killings across the country. 

Within a space of a week after Motiur Rahman Nizami filed for review of his Supreme Court verdict on March 29,an anti war crimes activist and Jagannath University student Nazimuddin Samad, was hacked to death in city's Sutrapur on April 7 this year.

On 25 December, 2015, suicide bombing at an Ahmadiyaa mosque in Rajshahi claimed one life while, on 10 December, an organiser of a folk song festival in Chuadanga was killed. Before the Supreme Court gave review verdicts for Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, on 18 November, 2015, there were a number of killings perpetrated on law enforcers, free thinkers and priests, alongside different mosques and shrines came under attack. 

Prior to that verdict, the Special Branch, unearthing those conspiracy and plots, submitted a report to the home ministry on last October 29 that elucidated "a certain group has been planning subversive and terror activities to free war criminals now under trial".

An assistant sub-inspector of police and another constable were stabbed to death in separate attacks carried out in and around the capital respectively on October 22 and November 4. 

In the following weeks, on October 31, Faysal Arefin Dipan of Jagriti Prokashoni was hacked to death in Shahbagh and an attendant of a shrine at Kaunia in Rangpur was slaughtered on November 10 last year.

On 7 August, 2015, anti war crimes activist and blogger Niladri Chatterjee Niloy was hacked to death inside his home at East Goran, Dhaka in the aftermath of Supreme Court verdict, on 29 July, 2015, pronounced against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury confirming death penalty.

Two weeks after the death penalty verdict against Mir Quasem Ali, issued by ICT, Professor AKM Shafiul Islam of Rajshahi University was hacked to death in front of his house at Rajshahi town on 15th November, 2014).

About the recent drive, the Police Chief said militants who are either listed or charge-sheeted and absconding will be hunted down during this search. Moreover, a strong coordination is being developed among all the agencies to intensify intelligence work", he claimed.

Terming the target killing a clear attempt to stop ongoing trial, Senior Prosecutor of the ICT Barrister Tureen Afroz urged the government to enact tough laws and Special Forces should become operational to stop such killings.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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