Bangladesh: 10 members of banned militant outfit sentenced to death for 2001 bombing

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 20, 2020, 05.02 PM(IST)

File photo of Bangladesh police. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Meanwhile, two communist party members who were also accused of involvement in the attack were acquitted.

Bangladesh on Monday sentenced 10 terrorists to death for the 2001 bombing which had killed five people.  

Ten Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami members have been convicted and sentenced to death, news agency AFP quoted the Dhaka city's public prosecutor as saying.

"They carried out the bombing as part of their jihad to establish a militant government. They wanted to smear the image of the secular government and create anarchy," prosecutor also said.

Meanwhile, two communist party members who were also accused of involvement in the attack were acquitted.

Several bombs were detonated in Dhaka in January 2001, at a meeting of the Communist Party of Bangladesh. After the investigation which lasted for several years, the police blamed the country's branch of the banned fundamentalist organisation, Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (HUJI).

Islamist groups have been targeting secular activists, moderate Muslims and religious minorities in Bangladesh since the 1990s.

HUJI and Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were the two most prominent outfits. Both were led by Afghan conflict veterans and were blamed for scores of deaths in bomb and grenade attacks.

The top six JMB leaders were executed in 2007 after being found guilty of synchronised bomb attacks in August 2005.

And HUJI chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and two associates were executed in April 2017 for orchestrating a 2004 attack on a Sufi shrine that killed three people and wounded the British high commissioner to Dhaka.