Bangladesh court sentences 47, including nine to death, for attacking Sheikh Hasina in 1994
A local Bangladeshi court sentenced nine Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists to death, 25 others to life imprisonment and 13 more to 10-year prison term for attacking a train in which the then opposition leader and the present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was travelling on Sept 23, 1994. The sentences were awarded by the Paban district trial court on Wednesday.
Those sentenced with life imprisonment have also been fined Tk 3 lakh. The incident occurred during the first Prime Ministerial tenure of her arch rival Khaleda Zia of BNP. However, the investigation suffered in 1996 during the BNP rule.
Back then, she was leading a nationwide campaign by rail, about 160 km northwest of the capital, Dhaka, when her coach was attacked upon arriving in Pabna’s Ishwardy. The accused threw bombs and fired on the coach of the train with the intention to kill her.
Among those who received the death penalty included former Mayor and president of Ishwardi Municipality Unit BNP Moklesur Rahman Bablu, the unit’s general secretary Zakaria Pintu and jubo dal president Mostofa Nur-e Alam, Pabna district unit BNP Liberation War Affairs secretary AKM Aktaruzzaman, and BNP leaders Mahbubul Rahman Palash, Shamsul Alam, Shahidul Islam, Rezaul Karim and Azizur Rahman.
The PM was also targeted in 2004 when assaulters threw grenades at a rally in Dhaka in which 24 people died and more than 500 were wounded. In 2018, a court sentenced 19 persons to death and 19 to life imprisonment for that attack. The defendants have appealed to a higher court.