Members of Rapid Action Battalion on Saturday arrested an absconding death row war crimes convict at village Barshikula under Itna in Kishoreganj.
The arrestee, Md Hafiz Uddin, 66, of Khudirjangal area of Karimganj, was sentenced to death on May 3, 2016 for committing crimes against humanity at Karimganj during Liberation War in 1971.
He had been in hiding at one of his relative’s house at village Barshikula, RAB officials said.
This is the first time that the law enforcing agency could arrest an absconding war crimes convict, more than two years after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 in May 2015 asked the inspector general of police to form a monitoring committee to oversee the arrest of absconding convicts and accused in war crimes cases.
The tribunal passed the order as the list of absconding war crimes convicts and accused becoming longer.
The two tribunals, the first one initiated in March 2010 and the second one in March 2012, have so far convicted 53 people in 28 cases for committing crimes against humanity.
With the arrest of Hafiz, the number of absconding convicts now stands at 23.
‘We arrested Hafiz from the village at about 2:00pm on Saturday,’ said RAB-14 crimes prevention company-2 commander Md Hasan Mostofa Swapan, also an additional superintendent of police.
He said that they might handover the convict to the Karimganj police on completion of their official procedure.
Hafiz, a member of infamous Razakar force during the Liberation War, is one of the five convicts in a war crimes case of Karimganj in Kishoreganj.
An arrest warrant was issued on Hafiz in November 2014.
On May 3, 2016, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentenced four of them — Shamsuddin Ahmed, his brother retired Captain Nasiruddin Ahmed, Gazi Md Abdul Mannan and Md Hafiz Uddin, to death and the other, Md Azharul Islam, to life until death.
This was the 23rd verdict in war crimes cases in Bangladesh.
During delivery of the verdict, only Shamsuddin was in the dock and four others, including Hafiz, faced the trial in absentia.
Hafiz was sentenced to death for abduction and murdering Abdul Gafur of the village Kalatali under Karimganj on September 26, 1971. On this charge, Shamsuddin, Nasiruddin and Azhar were jailed until death.
In another charge of murdering eight villagers and injuring another in four villages of Karimganj on November 12, 1971, Shamsuddin, Nsiruddin and Mannan were sentenced to death while Hafiz and Azhar were jailed until death.
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