THE Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal on Thursday charged former BNP state minister for home Luthfozzaman Babar, Sylhet city mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury and former Habiganj mayor GK Gaus with grenade attacks on Awami League rallies of former finance minister SAMS Kibria and Surnajit Sengupta.
Judge Shahriar Kabir framed charges against 22 people, including the three Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders, in two cases filed for the grenade attack on the rally of Suranjit in Sunamganj and for the attempt on his life.
The judge also framed charges against 28 people, including the three, in another case filed for grenade attack on Kibria’s rally in Habiganj.
The tribunal, however, once again deferred the examination of prosecution witness in another case for the murder of Kibria in the same grenade attack as the witnesses were absent, said public prosecutor Sarwar Ahmed Chowdhury Abdal.
On June 21, 2004, AL youth front Juba League activist Wahid Miah was killed and about 50 others were injured in the grenade attack on a rally of Suranjit at Derai upazila in Sunamganj.
Derai police sub-inspector Helal Uddin filed two cases in this connection against unnamed people. The police also submitted charge sheets in the cases against 13 people.
In July 2016, Criminal Investigation Department assistant superintendent Basu Datta Chakma, also the investigation officer, named nine more people, including Ariful and Gaus, in supplementary charge sheets after a fresh investigation.
Kibria, also an Awami League leader, his nephew Shah Manzurul Huda and local AL leaders Abdur Rahim, Abul Hossain and Siddeq Ali were killed and more than 50 injured in a grenade attack on a rally at Baidyer Bazar under sadar upazila in Habiganj on January 27, 2005.
Habiganj AL general secretary Abdul Mazid Khan, who also sustained injuries, filed two cases with the Kotwali police on January 28, 2005 for the grenade attack and subsequent casualties.
The CID submitted a charge sheet in the murder case on March 20, 2005 against 10 BNP leaders and activists.
Later, CID assistant superintendent Rafiqul Islam submitted a supplementary charge sheet in the Kibria murder case on June 20, 2011 naming 14 more people, including Babar.
Kibria’s wife Asma Kibria had, however, filed a petition with the High Court on June 28, 2011 seeking further investigation in the incident.
CID regional senior assistant superintendent Meherunnessa Parul on November 13, 2014 submitted another supplementary charge sheet against 32 people, including the then BNP chairperson’s political adviser Haris Chowdhury, Ariful and Gaus.
On June 11, 2015, Habiganj district senior judicial magistrate court transferred the murder case to the tribunal for the second time for trial.
The tribunal framed charges against the 32 on September 13, 2015, court sources said.
The tribunal has so far examined 43 of the 171 prosecution witnesses since the beginning of the trail on September 30, 2015, public prosecutor Sarwar said.
He said that the tribunal had to defer the examination of witnesses time and again as the accused could not be produced before the tribunal on most of the occasions for security reason and for absence of witnesses.