A Rajshahi court yesterday framed charges against eight operatives of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the long anticipated Rajshahi University (RU) teacher Muhammad Yunus murder case.
The second court of Additional District Judge Lutfa Begum framed charges in the murder case in presence of all the eight accused in dock.
The accused include Shafiullah Tarek (a follower of militant kingpin Asadullah Al Galib) and Shahidullah Mahbub (husband of the executed JMB leader Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai's niece). Both of them were the mastermind behind the murder, say the charges.
The other accused are JMB's regional commanders -- Abu Isa Enamul and Golamur Rahman Mostafa, an adherent of Galib's Ahle Hadith Jubo Shangha, militants Abul Kashem Tufan, Abdul Matin, Abdur Rahman Arif and Mojibur Rahman.
The framing of charges had been deferred since July last year as some of the accused were being tried in other cases outside Rajshahi.
Inspector Mohammad Helauddin of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted the charge sheet against the eight September 10, 2007.
In the latest charge sheet, CID police brushed aside previous police findings of Shibir's involvement in the murder though two eyewitnesses in separate judicial statements narrated Shibir cadres' involvement.
Names of some 13 accused including six cadres of Islami Chhatra Shibir were dropped in the CID charge sheet.
Helaluddin said, the investigation took a new turn following confessional statement of executed JMB chief Abdur Rahman. Later, two prime accused -- Shafiullah Tarek and Shahidullah Mahbub made judicial confessions.
Yunus, a professor of economics, was killed on December 24, 2004 while on a morning walk near his Binodhpur residence. He was the president of RU Bangabandhu Parishad and senior vice-president of Bangladesh Economic Association.
Abdul Halim, the victim's brother who filed the murder case with Motihar Police Station said, "The murder was pre-planned and occurred over political vengeance."
The charges say Yunus was murdered for being an atheist and abettor of underground communist activities. A group of 10 assassins committed the murder of whom Ibrahim died in 2005 while another could not be identified, the charges add.