The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Tuesday sentenced five people of Gaibandha to death for committing crimes against humanity during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
A three-member tribunal led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam pronounced the verdict after finding all the five accused guilty in the offences.The five death row convicts are: Ranju Miah, Abdul Jabbar, Md Jafijar Rahman Khoka, Md Abdul Wahed Mondol, and Md Momtaz Ali Bepari Momtaz. Another accused, Md Azgar Hossain Khan, died before commencement of the trial.
Of the convicts, Ranju Miah was produced before the court while rest others are on the run.
The tribunal asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take immediate steps to arrest the fugitives.
According to the case dossier, all the convicts are residents of Nandina and Chok Gayeshpur villages under Gaibandha Sadar upazila. All of them were either involved in Jamaat politics or members of Razakar force. They committed crimes against humanity in collaboration with Pakistan Army during our Liberation War in 1971.
They were involved in killing a member of Hindu community, torturing two Hindu women and forcing around 400 Hindus of Sahapara union under Sadar upazila to leave the country; killing nine people at Nandina village and looting around 50 houses; killing five people at Doulatpur village, and killing seven people in Sahapara union.
The trial proceedings commenced after the tribunal indicted the accused on May 17, 2018.During the trial, 16 prosecution witnesses (PWs) testified in the case.
The ICT completed hearing on closing arguments of both sides on July 21 and kept the matter as case awaiting verdict (CAV).
On Monday, the tribunal announced that verdict would be delivered on Tuesday.
The war crimes tribunal has so far tried 40 cases and convicted 102 people. Of them, 98 people have been convicted while 67 received capital punishment.
Earlier, six top war criminals, including five Jamaat leaders, were hanged after Supreme Court upheld their death sentences.
They are Matiur Rahman Nizami, Abdul Quader Mollah, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujaheed, Mir Quasem Ali and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. Salauddin was a BNP lawmaker.
A total of 23 appeals are now pending in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
The death row convicts who filed the appeals are: Mobarak Hossain, Abdus Subhan, ATM Azharul Islam, Syed Mohammad Quasar, Mahidur Rahman, Forkan Mallik, Serajul Haque alias Siraj Master, Khan Akram Hossain, Obaidul Haque Taher, Ataur Rahman Nani, Shamsuddin Ahmed, SM Yousuf Ali, Shamsul Haque, Muhibur Rahman Boro Mia, Mujibur Rahman Angur Mia, Abdur Razzak, Shakhawat Hossain, Billal Hossain, Moslem Prodhan, Abdul Latif, Ujer Ahmed and Yunus Ahmed.
The government also submitted an appeal seeking death penalty for former Jatiya Party lawmaker Abdul Jabbar, who is now on the run.