77 more BNP men sentenced 

CMM Court, Dhaka
File photo

Just three weeks before the National Parliament elections, 77 more individuals associated with BNP and its affiliated organisations were sentenced in five separate cases on Thursday.  

Among the convicted leaders and activists are Saiful Alam, former president of Jubo Dal, Rafiqul Alam, member secretary of Dhaka City South wing BNP, and Azizur Rahman, general secretary of Dhaka City North wing Swechchhasebak Dal. 

In the last four and a half months, a total of 1,222 people have been sentenced in 78 cases, with the majority being BNP leaders and workers. Some individuals have faced sentencing in multiple cases. 

The five cases decided on Thursday were registered in 2011, 2013, and 2018 and were filed in Motijheel, Tejgaon, Shahjahanpur, Banani, and Cantonment police stations in the capital.  

The charges in these separate cases included allegations of unlawful gatherings, obstructing police work, assault, vandalism of vehicles, arson, and cocktail explosions. In four of these cases, the plaintiff is the police, while one involves a driver. 

The case registered at Shahjahanpur police station in September 2018 involved 80 to 85 BNP leaders and workers who, according to the case statement, marched against the government from the Railgate area of Malibagh on 7 September, 2018.  

During the protest, they vandalised cars on the road and exploded crude bombs ('cocktails'). The charge sheet for this case included 13 accused. The trial commenced on 24 September and concluded on 29 November, with five police witnesses presented in court on behalf of the state. 

In the verdict, issued by Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court Magistrate Mosharraf Hossain, 12 individuals were sentenced to two years in prison, while one person was acquitted. 

Four remaining cases 

On 5 November 2013, a bus was set on fire in Tejgaon. In the case filed in connection with this incident, the court sentenced 14 individuals, including the former president of Jubo Dal, Saiful Alam, and the general secretary of Dhaka City North Swechchhashebak Dal, Azizur Rahman, to two and a half years in prison. One person has been acquitted, and the verdict was given by CMM Court Magistrate Mosharraf Hossain. 

According to the case filed at Banani police station, on 6 September, 2018, around 7:30 in the evening, BNP leaders and activists blocked the movement of vehicles and detonated cocktails. In this case, 20 people, including BNP leader Rafiqul Alam, were sentenced to one year and three months in prison, while one person was acquitted. The verdict was delivered by Magistrate Mosharraf Hossain. 

The case registered at Motijheel police station on 4 June, 2011, involved the burning of a bus in front of the Kamalapur railway station. In this case, the court sentenced 13 individuals to two years of imprisonment. CMM Court Magistrate Ataullah delivered this verdict. 

On the other hand, the case filed at Cantonment police station on 15 September, 2018, reported an incident where BNP leaders and activists attacked the police during an anti-government rally in the Manikadi Bazar area and detonated cocktails.

In this case, the court sentenced 18 people to two years of imprisonment. The verdict was given by Dhaka's CMM Court Magistrate Rajesh Chowdhury.