9 sentenced to death by B'desh court for attacking PM Hasina 25 years ago
Dhaka, July 3: A Bangladeshi court on Wednesday sentenced nine activists of a BNP-led alliance to death and 25 others to life in prison for attacking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina 25 years ago when she was the Opposition leader.
Hasina was leading a nationwide campaign by rail when her coach came under attack upon arriving in Pabna's Ishwardy on September 23, 1994. Hasina survived the assault carried out during Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia's first term as prime minister.
A Pabna court sentenced nine people to death and 25 others to life in prison for attacking the train, media reports said. Additional Sessions Judge Rostom Ali also jailed 13 people for 10 years. The railway police, as plaintiff, 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, reports said.
Police later submitted a charge sheet against 52 accused at the end of the probe. After the verdict, local BNP activists held a protest on the court premises while ruling Awami League supporters and activists held separate procession expressing satisfaction over the judgement. The judgement came on a day when Hasina arrived in Beijing on an official visit.