Wait for justice for former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria and four others still continues after 13 years of the brutal killings.
Families of the slain expressed grave dissatisfaction over the trial proceedings as the folks who ordered or ran the attack were yet to be identified.
Kibria, also an Awami League leader, his nephew Shah Manzurul Huda and three local AL leaders — Abdur Rahim, Abul Hossain and Siddeq Ali — were killed and more than 50 were injured in a grenade attack on a rally held at Baidyer Bazar under sadar upazila in Habiganj on January 27 in 2005.
Habiganj AL general secretary Abdul Mazid Khan, who also sustained sever wounds of splinters, filed two cases with the Kotwali police on January 28, 2005 for the grenade attack and subsequent casualties in the incident.
After paying tribute to the former minister’s grave at Banani graveyard in Dhaka on Saturday morning, his son Reza Kibria expressed frustration over the delay in the trial of the murder case.
Reza in a written statement issued in the afternoon said, ‘Proper investigation in the killing of my father is yet to be conducted and we have not got the judgment yet. The identity of the people who run the grenade attack and who had assisted them is not reveled so far.’
The then assistant superintendent of Criminal Investigation Department of police submitted a charge sheet in the case on March 20, 2005 against 10 leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Later, the CID assistant superintendent Rafiqul Islam submitted a supplementary charge-sheet in the case on June 20, 2011 following a no-confidence petition filed by the plaintiff on the previous one.
Names of 14 new accused, including former state minister for home Luthfuzzaman Babar, were included in the charge sheet.
But, Kibria’s wife Asma Kibria filed a petition with the High Court on June 28, 2011 seeking further investigation in the incident.
In latest, the CID regional senior assistant superintendent Meherunnessa Parul on November 13, 2014 after completing the fresh investigation submitted the supplementary charge sheets against 32 people to the Habiganj district judicial magistrate court for third time in the cases of the grenade attack and killings.
Names of 11 more accused, including BNP chairperson’s political adviser Haris Chowdhury, Sylhet city’s suspended mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury and Habiganj mayor GK Gaus, were incorporated in the supplementary charge sheet.
On June 11, 2015, the murder case was transferred to the Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal for second time for quick judgment.
The SDSTT framed charges against the 32 charge-sheeted accused on September 13, 2015 in the case, the tribunal sources said.
When contacted, the tribunal public prosecutor Kishor Kumar Kar told New Age on Saturday that the tribunal so far recorded testimonies of 43 out of 171 prosecution witnesses in the case that began on September 30, 2015. He also informed that the SDSTT judge had remained on leave from August last year.
Talking to New Age, Abdul Mazid Khan said that he is hopeful of having verdict in the case in near future.
AL Habiganj district president Abu Zahir said the tribunal had to defer the trial process frequently due to the absence of the accused or witnesses.
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