Dhaka– A Dhaka court has sentenced five militants including fugitive sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haq to death in connection with the 2015 writer-blogger Avijit Roy murder case.
Another defendant, Safiur Rahman Farabi, has been jailed for life, bdnews 24 reported on Tuesday.
Judge Mojibur Rahman of Dhaka’s Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal delivered the verdict on Tuesday.
Four of the five convicts who received capital punishment are Md Mozzammel Hussain alias Saimon alias Shahriar, Md Abu Siddiq Sohel alias Sakib alias Sajid alias Shahab, Md Arafat Rahman and Akram Hossain alias Abir. Besides Ziaul, Abir is also on the run.
The judge also fined these convicts 50,000 taka each.
The Islamist militants hacked to death Avijit, the US-based Bangladeshi science writer and founder of the Muktomona blog, on February 26, 2015 just after he left the Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka. His wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya was injured in the attack.
On February 10, the court sentenced to death eight militants, including Ziaul, Saimon, Siddiq and Akram for the murder of Avijit’s publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan, who was hacked to death at his office in a similar attack months after the killing of Avijit.
The prosecution submitted CCTV footage of the killing of Avijit, video statements of the accused, their confessional statements and copies of SMSes from their mobile phones to the court as evidence.
The son of noted physicist Ajay Roy, Avijit had come to Bangladesh to take part in the book fair, where two of his books were published in 2015, despite threats from militants.
Ajay Roy filed a case over his son’s murder at Shahbagh Police Station soon after the incident. The family expressed their disappointment with the slow progress of the investigation.
Prof Roy died in December 2019 while his wife died last year. (IANS)