June 19, 2021

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Attack on Sheikh Hasina’s convoy: 7 people granted bail in High Court

The High Court has granted bail to seven of the 18 convicts convicted in the 2002 attack on the convoy of then-Leader of the Opposition and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Satkhira. Former general secretary of Satkhira District Bar Association Advocate Abdus Sattar and 18 others were granted bail on Tuesday (May 25) by High Court Justice Mostafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md. The order was passed by a virtual bench comprising Iqbal Kabir. Additional Attorney General SM Munir confirmed the matter. The rest will be ordered on May 30, he said.

Former MP Habibul Islam Habib, who was convicted in the lower court in the case, and Abdus Sattar, former general secretary of the Satkhira District Bar Association, and 19 others applied for bail in the High Court. The High Court on Tuesday granted bail to 17 of them, including Abdus Sattar. The rest will be ordered on May 30. Habibul Islam’s bail application is pending in another court.

On August 30, 2002, the then Leader of the Opposition and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to the Sadar Hospital to see the raped wife of a freedom fighter from Hijaldi village in Kalaroa upazila of Satkhira. On his way back to Magura, he attacked and vandalized his convoy in front of the Kalaroa BNP office at around 12:15 pm. It was alleged against the leaders and activists including the then BNP leader Habibul Islam Habib.

At least a dozen people, including Sheikh Hasina and her convoy, Awami League leaders and journalists, were injured in the attack. Moslem Uddin, former general secretary of Upazila Awami League, became the plaintiff in the case and filed a case in the court after failing to mention the names of 28 people including Upazila Juba Dal president Ashraf Hossain and 60-65 unidentified people.

The case was recorded at Kalaroa police station on October 15, 2014, after a decade on the orders of the High Court. Then on May 17, 2015, Sheikh Safiqur Islam, the investigating officer of the case, filed three separate chargesheets under the Penal Court, Arms Act and Explosives Act, naming 50 people, including Habibul Islam Habib, former district BNP president and former MP from Satkhira-1 constituency.

After hearing the testimony of 9 witnesses in the Satkhira Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court and the Satkhira District and Sessions Judge-2, the defendants in the Arms Act and Explosives Act cases were adjourned in the High Court on 9 and 23 August 2016 respectively.

The court rejected the rule on October 8 last year. Rakibur appealed against the verdict. In view of this, the Appellate Division directed to complete the trial in the lower court within three months. Following the trial, the Satkhira Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court on February 4 sentenced the three, including former BNP MP Habibul Islam Habib, to a maximum of 10 years in prison and sentenced the remaining 48 accused to various terms of imprisonment.