Mufti Hannan, 2 deputies hanged for Shahjalal shrine attack

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DHAKA : The prison authorities tonight hanged three militants, including Bangladesh chapter chief of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) Mufti Hannan, in Kashimpur Central Jail and Sylhet Central Jail for 2004 grenade attack at Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) shrine in Sylhet.

Of the three, Mufti Hannan and Sharif Shahedul Alam alias Bipul were hanged at Kashimpur Central Jail around 10 pm, while their accomplice Delwar Hossain Ripon was hanged at Sylhet Central Jail.

“Mufti Hannan and Bipul were executed subsequently at 10 pm,” senior jail superintendant Mizanur Rahman said.

On the other hand, Ripon was hanged at 10.01 pm at Sylhet jail said jail super Sagir Miah.

Earlier in the morning, Mufti Hannan’s family members including his wife Jakia Pervin, daughters Nishi Khanam and Najrin Khanam met him met him for last time in jail.

In the afternoon, Hannan’s two jailed brothers Md Mohibul and Md Anis too met him as the authority brought the two to bid their elder brother adieu.

Meanwhile, around 25 members of Ripon’s family including his parents Abdul Eusuf, Azizunnesa, brother Nazmul Islam met him in Sylhet jail this evening.

Four of them were there on Tuesday too, as the prison authority had asked them to come and meet him after letting Ripon know about the rejection of his clemency plea.

Bipul, however, had no visitors in the jail as his father, according to some news portals, refused to met his infamous son and receive his body after execution.

Since the morning, the law enforcers enforced restriction on the movement of commoners and vehicles in front of the Kashimpur jail. The prisons authority also completed the rehearsal of the execution.

Raju, who had taken part in hanging of a couple of war criminals earlier, pulled the lever of the gallows at Kashimpur with two other hangmen Shariful Islam and Iqbal Hossain by his side.

On the other hand, Ripon was hanged by a five-member hangman team led by Faruk in Sylhet jail.

Earlier Mawlana Md Helal Uddin, Imam of Kashimpur Prison Mosque, administered Tawba on the two convicts. Prison doctor Md Mizanur Rahman gave the green light for the execution after checking their health in the afternoon.

Mawlana Belal Uddin, Imam of Abu Torab Jame Mosque, administered Tawba on Ripon in Sylhet Jail.

“Mawlana Belal entered into the jail at around 8.45pm and was taken to Ripon’s cell by the prison officials. The mawlana came out of jail at 9.22 pm. Deputy Commissioner Rahat Anwar flanked by additional district magistrate Abu Shafayat Md Shahedul Islam entered into the jail complex at 9.15 pm,” BSS Sylhet correspondent said quoting jail officials.

Meanwhile, Ripon’s health was checked by Dr Amal Ratan Saha, who went inside the jail at 9.30 pm.

DIG Prisons Md Touhidul Islam entered Kashimpur jail around 4 pm followed by superintendent of Gazipur police Hurun-ur-Rashid. Two ambulances were seen to enter the prison complex at 6.30 pm. IG Prisons Brigadier General Syed Iftekhar Uddin entered the jail complex around 8 pm.

The three militants had filed the plea seeking presidential clemency on March 27, while the President turned down the pleas on April 8.

Earlier on March 22, their execution order along with the copies of apex court verdict that turned down their review pleas, reached the concerned prisons. “The copies of the review verdict reached the prison at around 12.30 am and we read it out to two death row convicts in the case Mufti Hannan and Sharif Shahedul Alam alias Bipul at around 10 am,” senior jail superintendant Md Mizanur Rahman had told BSS on that day.

“Both of them informed us that they will seek presidential clemency. We are ready to execute their death sentences and the execution will take place after completing all the legal procedure,” he added.

The apex court on March 21 released full text of its verdict rejecting review pleas of three militant leaders, including Mufti Hannan.

Earlier on March 19, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court dismissed the pleas of Hannan, chief of Bangladesh chapter of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) and his associates Bipul and Delwar Hossain Ripon, paving the way for their execution for the gruesome attack in Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) shrine in Sylhet on May 21, 2004.

Three people died and around 70 others, including the British envoy, were injured in the attack.

A three-member Appellate Division panel headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order, dismissing the pleas of Hannan and two others to review its December 7, 2016, verdict, maintaining a High Court judgment upholding the sentences of a trial court awarding death to three of the five accused.

“The learned counsel fails to point out any error of law in the judgment of this court. We find no merit in these petitions. These review petitions are dismissed,” said the review verdict.

The Sylhet Speedy Trial Tribunal, after examining 56 witnesses, passed the initial verdict of the case on December 23, 2008, sentencing three to death and life imprisonment to Mohibullah and Abu Jandal.

Following the jail appeals, the High Court on February 11, 2016, upheld death for the three, making Hannan and Bipul to lodge appeals with the apex court to save their necks.

As the Appellate Division too upheld the trial court verdict of death, Mufti Hannan on February 23, 2017, filed a plea with the apex court to review that sentence.

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