17 convicts of Ekram murder still at large

Five years after the verdict, the appeal hearing of the convicts in the High Court still hasn’t begun

Ekramul Haque

Nine years have passed since the brutal murder of Feni’s Fulgazi upazila Awami League unit president and upaziila parishad chairman Ekramul Haque.

Law enforcement agencies still haven’t been able to arrest 17 out of the 39 convicts in the case who have been sentenced to death.

Moreover, the appeal hearing of the convicts in the High Court hasn’t begun even though more than five years have passed since the verdict.

On 20 May 2014, Ekram was murdered in the city’s Academy area. Ekram was mercilessly beaten, hacked, shot and his car was set on fire.

Ekram’s elder brother Jashim Uddin filed a case at the Feni sadar model police station that very day. BNP leader and Ekram’s opponent in the upazila election Mahtab Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury was accused in the case.

After conducting an investigation, police inspector Abul Kalam Azad filed a charge sheet against 56 individuals. Out of the accused, one died in a ‘gun fight’ with RAB.

On 13 March 2018, the district judge sentenced 39 to death in the case. BNP leader Mahtab and 15 other were acquitted. In the verdict, the judge said that Ekram was murdered due to the political turmoil with the convicts which began during the local election.

Sources at the court and the police said that out of the 39 sentenced for the death row, 22 convicts which included district Awami League’s former joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir, Feni City Corporation’s former councillor Abdullah Hil Mahmud are in prison, the other 17 are fugitives.

The absconders are Jahid Hossain, Abidul Islam, Chowdhury Md Nafiz Uddin, Arman Hossain, Jahedul Hashem, Ziaur Rahman, Jashim Uddin, Emran Hossain, Rahar Md Erfan, Ekram Hossain aka Akram, Shafiqur Rahman, kofil Uddin Mahmud, Mosleh Uddin, Ismail Hossain, Mohiuddin Anis, Md Bablu and Titu. Four of them were released on bail and later ran away.

We want the court’s verdict will be carried out quickly. The government must take steps to carry out the verdict.
Mojammel Haque, Ekram’s younger brother

All 39 convicts are either members of the local Awami League unit or its front organisations.

Feni sadar model police station’s officer in-charge (OC) Md Nizam Uddin told Prothom Alo that the police are continuing with their efforts to capture the absconded convicts.

Appeal hearing still pending

After the verdict from the district Judge court, the convicted accused appealed in the High Court. Five years have passed since then, but the appeal hearing is yet to begin.

Feni court’s public prosecutor (PP) Hafez Ahmed told Prothom Alo, the appeal hearing hasn’t begun because the paper book of the case is not ready yet.

Important facts of the case like the case’s FIR, charge sheet, post-mortem report, the statement of the witnesses are serially listed in a paper book.

Ekram’s younger brother Mojammel Haque told Prothom Alo, “We want the court’s verdict will be carried out quickly. The government must take steps to carry out the verdict.”

*This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ashfaq-Ul-Alam Niloy