Kunio murder verdict can reassure foreign community


Five members of the militant organisation JMB have been sentenced to death for the killing of Japanese national Hoshi Kunio in Rangpur. This verdict reflects the determination and efficiency of the law enforcement agencies, the prosecution and the judiciary.

Hoshi Kunio’s murder had several dimensions. This is the first time that a verdict has been passed regarding the killing of a foreign national by militants within the country. IS had reportedly admitted to the killing. In his verdict, the judge stated that the motive behind the murder was to tarnish the image of Bangladesh.

Apparently this harmless 66-year-old man, here on research of cattle fodder, was killed simply because he was a foreigner and a non-Muslim. And yet, the irony is that he had actually converted to Islam. In fact, one of the killers, in his confessional statement, regretted the murder after learning that Kunio had become a Muslim. The court observed that the killers had virtually portrayed Islam to the world as a militant religion. We hope this speedy verdict will serve to reassure Kunio’s relations and the international community.

The public had doubts over any speedy verdict, following the killing of Kunio just five days after the murder of Italian national Cesare Tavella, followed by the carnage at Gulshan’s Holey Artisan bakery. This verdict, coming within 17 months of the murder, gives hope regarding verdicts for the other terrorist killings. The rest of the world can respect Bangladesh for this verdict.

Those who are killing in the name of Islam are actually going against Islam. The people of Bangladesh are undergoing much suffering and sacrifice to tackle the situation. We thank the various agencies of the government, though at the same time we caution against any political handling of the matter. After all, mere a court verdict cannot dispel the forces of darkness.

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