Dhaka, July 3 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday said a ‘dictated and ‘cruel’ verdict’ was given by a Pabna court sentencing nine of its activists to death and jailing 25 others for life on a ‘fabricated’ charge of attacking a train carrying then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in 1994.
In a statement, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the verdict was given after 24 years against BNP leaders and activists ‘using the court’ to hide the growing incidents of repression, grabbing and plundering all over the country.
“The verdict is part of the government’s policy to eliminate BNP using the court. Handing down such a verdict against BNP leaders and activists after 24 years is not only absurd but also part of a far-reaching master plan,” he said.
The BNP leader also strongly condemned the ‘dictated’ verdict and demanded that it be revoked.
Fakhrul claimed that the incident of attacking the train carrying Sheikh Hasina in 1994 was ‘fabricated’ one. “A political issue was created by firing shots and hurling bombs at the train in a planned way by own party (AL) men, and it’s known to all.”
This verdict manifested that the government is trying to eliminate BNP’s dedicated leaders and activists. “The Additional District and Sessions Judge gave the verdict at the behest of government.”
The verdict in a ‘fabricated’ incident has also exposed that the government has ‘devised a destructive blueprint’ to hang onto power. “The government is exposing its vindictive attitude one after another with the passage of time.
Earlier in the day, a Pabna court here sentenced nine BNP activists to death and jailed 25 others for life for attacking the train in 1994.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Rustom Ali, delivering the verdict in a packed courtroom in the morning, also sentenced 13 others to 10 years in jail.
A Rajshahi-bound train carrying Sheikh Hasina was attacked at Pakshi Rail Station on September 23, 1994. The attackers fired shots and hurled bombs at the train.
Nazrul Islam, the then officer-in-charge of Ishwardi Railways Police Station, filed the case. Police pressed charges in court against 52 suspects on April 3, 1997.