Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 23 March: A Dhaka court has sentenced 14 militants to death in a case over a conspiracy to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by planting a 76kg bomb in Gopalganj’s Kotalipara two decades ago.
Judge Abu Zafar Md Kamruzzaman of Dhaka Speedy Tribunal 1 passed the verdict on Tuesday.
The convicts who received the death sentence are Mafizur Rahman, Mahmud Azhar, Wadud Sheikh alias Gazi Khan, Rasheduzzaman, Azizul Haque, Lokman, Tareque, Yusuf alias Moshab Morol, Moshab Hasan alias Rashu, Sheikh Md Enamul Haque, Sarwar Hossain, Anisul Islam, Rafiqul Islam Khan and Amirul Islam.
The convicts were brought from the jail to the court during the announcement of verdict. Security was beefed up in and around the court.
The case also brought sedition charges against the militants.
In 2000, police found two 76-kilogram bombs in a school field at Kotalipara where Hasina, on her first term as prime minister, was scheduled to address an election campaign rally.
The bombs were discovered while a rally stage was being set up on the Sheikh Lutfur Rahman College ground in Kotalipara, the electoral seat of the Awami League chief. Hasina was expected to address the rally two days later.
After the discovery of the bombs, three cases were filed: an attempted murder, a conspiracy to assassinate the prime minister and sedition and the use of explosives.