127 more BNP, Jamaat activists sentenced to jail

Court Correspondent

14 December 2023

Another 127 leaders and activists of BNP-Jamaat and their front organizations were sentenced to different jail terms yesterday in seven cases filed between January 2012 and November 2018 over political violence in Dhaka.

With this, at least 850 BNP-Jamaat men have been jailed since November 7 this year in 47 cases filed on charges of illegal gathering on the streets; rioting; damaging properties; arson attacks on vehicles; vandalism; and assaulting police and obstructing them from discharging duties.

In a case filed with Dhanmondi police in July 2018, 22 leaders and activists of the BNP and its front organisations were sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment each by a Dhaka court yesterday. Of them, nine were present in the courtroom when Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mehedi Hasan delivered the verdict. Four prosecution witnesses testified.

President of Dhanmondi BNP Sheikh Rabiul Alam Rabi and president of the party’s Hazaribagh unit Majibur Rahman Mazu and its General Secretary Abdul Aziz are among the convicts. According to the case statement, a group of leaders and activists of BNP and its front organizations gathered in Sat Masjid Road area in Dhanmondi on July 13, 2018 and assaulted police and obstructed them from discharging duties. They also threw brickbats at on-duty police personnel.

The next day, Sub-Inspector Mostofa Kamal filed a case with Dhanmondi Police Station in connection with the incident. Magistrate Mehedi also sentenced 15 BNP men to six months’ imprisonment in another case filed over political violence in Gulshan in April 2013. He acquitted two other accused as the charges against them were not proved. Five prosecution witnesses testified during the trial.

The case statement said a group of BNP-Jamaat activists gathered on Gulshan Avenue on April 8, 2013, ahead of a hartal called by the BNP-led 18-party alliance. They also torched a car in the area. Police then filed a case with Gulshan Police Station in this regard. Another Dhaka court yesterday sentenced five BNP members to 18 months’ imprisonment over political violence in Kamrangirchar area in September 2018. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Rajesh Chowdhury also acquitted 19 other accused. During the trial, five prosecution witnesses gave their depositions.

According to the case statement, a group of BNP leaders and activists gathered on the streets in front of Rony Market Kathpatti area in Kamrangirchar on September 28, 2018, demanding release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia. They vandalized and torched vehicles and threw brickbats at police, who later filed a case with Kamrangirchar police in this regard. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Farjana Shakila Sumu Chowdhury yesterday sentenced, in absentia, 10 BNP activists to two and a half years’ imprisonment over political violence in Banani in September 2018.

Also yesterday, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mosharrof Hossain sentenced 12 BNP members to 24 months’ imprisonment for obstructing police from discharging duties in Kafrul in December 2017.

The magistrate also sentenced 67 BNP leaders and activists to 25 months’ imprisonment in two cases filed with Uttarkhan Police Station in September 2018 for illegal gathering on the streets and obstructing police from discharging duties.