The Rajshahi Speedy Trial Tribunal on Monday sentenced three persons to death for murdering Rajshahi University (RU) sociology department professor Shafiul Islam in 2014.
The tribunal judge, Anup Kumar, pronounced the verdict in presence of ten of the eleven charge-sheeted accused in the dock.
The convicts are Ariful Islam Manik, former Katakhali municipal unit Jubo Dal organising secretary, Abdus Samad Pintu, former senior vice president of RU Chhatra Dal, and Mohammad Sabuj. Sobuj is absconding.
The court also asked the convicts to pay Tk 10,000 each as fine.
The court acquitted eight other accused as allegations brought against them were not proved.
The eight acquitted are Anwar Hossain Ujjal, joint-secretary of BNP Rajshahi district unit, Nasrin Akhter Reshma, an assistant section officer of RU finance and accounts section and also the wife of convict Abdus Samad Pintu, Sirajul Islam Kalu, Al Mamun, Mohammad Arif, Mohammad Sagor, Zinnat Ali, and Ibrahim Khalil alias ‘Tokai Babu’.
The judge observed in the verdict that Professor Shafiul Islam Lilon was killed following a conflict between the deceased teacher and Nasrin Akhter Reshma, said public prosecutor Entazul Hauqe Babu.
He said that Abdus Samad Pintu, the mastermind, and two others killed Professor Shafiul as he misbehaved with Pintu’s wife Reshma.
Defence counsel advocate Golam Mortuza said that their clients would challenge the verdict in the High Court after getting the copy of complete verdict.
Soumin Shahrid, son of the deceased Professor, expressed his dissatisfaction over the verdict and alleged that both the investigation and the trial in the case were not done properly.
‘The reason behind the killing is not clear; it is rather illogical,‘ he added. Soumin also blamed the then administration of Rajshahi University for not supervising the case properly.
The then RU administration just filed a case but did not take it seriously, he further added.
Professor Shafiul Islam Lilon, follower of Sufism and the mystical beliefs of Lalon, was hacked with sharp weapons on November 15, 2014 in front of his rented house at Rajshahi city’s Chouhoddipara while he was returning from work at 3:00pm.
Professor Shafiul succumbed to his injuries after he was taken to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital at 4:00pm.
Hours after the killing, ‘Ansar-Al-Islam Bangladesh-2’ claimed credit for the murder immediately through a Facebook post and police arrested three militants over the claim. The victim’s son Soumin Shahrid Javin also suspected radicals for the murder.
On the following day, the then RU registrar Professor Entazul Haque filed a murder case accusing unknown persons.
Nasrin Akhter Reshma was arrested on March 1 in 2015 by Detective Branch of police who claimed that Reshma confessed to being involved in the killing.
Her husband Abdus Samad Pintu and five others were arrested on November 23 by Rapid Action Battalion who said the arrested admitted to having hacked the sociology professor.
On November 30, 2015, Inspector Rezaus Sadik of police’s Detective Branch submitted the charge sheet and ruled out any militant outfit’s involvement in the murder.
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