Metropolitan

Pabna court awards conviction to BNP men

A dictated cruel verdict: BNP

Special Correspondent
A Pabna court has sentenced nine people to death and 25 others to life in prison for attacking a train that carried Sheikh Hasina 25 years ago.
Additional Sessions Judge Rostom Ali also jailed 13 people for 10 years.
Hasina, the then opposition leader and current prime minister, was leading a nationwide campaign by rail when her coach came under attack upon arriving in Pabna’s Ishwardy on Sept 23, 1994.
Hasina survived the assault carried out during BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s first term as prime minister.
The railway police, as plaintiff, subsequently initiated a case against 135 people in connection with the incident.
But the investigation hit a snag during the BNP’s rule before picking up speed once the Awami League formed government in 1996.
Police later submitted a charge sheet against 52 accused, including Bablu and Pintu, at the end of the probe.
According to case ducoment, A Rajshahi-bound train carrying Sheikh Hasina was attacked at Pakshi Rail Station on September 23, 1994. The attackers fired shots and hurled bombs at the train.
Nazrul Islam, the then officer-in-charge of Ishwardi Railways Police Station, filed the case. Police pressed charges in court against 52 suspects on April 3, 1997.
Dictated cruel verdict: BNP
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Wednesday said a ‘dictated and ‘cruel’ verdict was given by a Pabna court sentencing nine of its activists to death and awarding life imprisonment to 25 others on a ‘fabricated’ charge of attacking a train carrying the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in 1994.
In a statement, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the verdict was given after 24 years against the BNP leaders and activists ‘using the court’ to hide the growing incidents of repression, grabbing and plundering all over the country.
‘The verdict is part of the government’s policy to eliminate the BNP using the court. Handing down such a verdict against the BNP leaders and activists after 24 years is not only absurd but also part of a comprehensive master plan,’ he said.
The BNP leader also strongly condemned the ‘dictated’ verdict and demanded that it be revoked.
Fakhrul claimed that the incident of the attack on the train carrying Sheikh Hasina in 1994 was a ‘fabricated’ one. ‘A political issue was created by firing shots and hurling bombs at the train in a planned way by AL’s own party activists.’
This verdict manifested that the government is trying to eliminate BNP’s dedicated leaders and activists. ‘The additional district and sessions judge gave the verdict at the behest of the government,’ he said, adding that the government is exposing its vindictive nature one after another with the passage of time.

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