Friday, January 29, 2010

Prof Yunus Murder: Two JMB men handed death

Friday, January 29, 2010

A court here yesterday handed down death sentence to two JMB leaders for killing Rajshahi University teacher Muhammad Yunus five years ago.

Of the two, Shahidullah alias Mahbub is married to a niece of Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, now-executed JMB military commander. The other one, Shafiullah alias Tarek, is commander of Rajshahi district Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, the banned Islamist outfit.

Besides sentencing them to death, Rajshahi Speedy Trial Tribunal fined them each Tk 5,000.

It however acquitted six other JMB men of the murder. They are Abu Isa alias Enamul Haque, Golamur Rahman alias Golam Mostafa, Abul Kashem alias Tufan, Abdul Matin alias Bomaru Matin, Abdur Rahman alias Arif and Zakir alias Jayed.

Except Zakir, who has been on the run, all accused were produced before the court.

Yunus, an economics professor at RU, was knifed to death while on a morning walk near the campus on December 24, 2004.

The courtroom was chock-a-block when Judge Md Manjurul Bachhid began pronouncing the verdict at 2:45pm.

The judgment is based on judicial confessions, as there were no eye-witnesses, said the judge adding that Mahbub and Tarek can go to the High Court to appeal against their convictions in 30 days.

Rehana Yunus, wife of Yunus, told The Daily Star that she was not quite satisfied as some of the "killers have got off scot-free".

Her daughter Sara Sudipa said, "I can't get my father back, but the verdict will somewhat console our hearts, though partially."

Abdul Halim, Yunus's brother and complainant of the murder case, died 42 days after his brother's death.

In the charge sheet, CID Inspector Helaluddin said 10 militants took part in the murder operation.

Of them, Ibrahim was killed in 2005.

JMB supremo Shaikh Abdur Rahman, who was executed along with five other JMB leaders in March 2007, had ordered Mahbub to kill Yunus.

Mahbub picked the 10 to carry out the order.

The Criminal Investigation Department did not press charges against 13 Islami Chhatra Shibir leaders and workers who were earlier suspected by police of being involved in the murder.

Those dropped from the charge sheet included Sirajus Salehin, former president of Binodpur unit Shibir, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Our RU correspondent adds: Teachers, students and different organisations at RU yesterday hailed the verdict.

RU Vice-chancellor Prof Abdus Sobhan described the verdict as a milestone in efforts to establish the rule of law.

Bangladesh Chhatra League, Samajtantrik Chhatra Front, JSD Chhatra League, Chhatra Union, Chhatra Moitree, Muktijoddhar Santan Command and Kendrio Sangskritik Jote demanded immediate execution of the convicts.

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