Eastern Times, Dhaka, 16 February: The Dhaka Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal on Tuesday sentenced five extremists to death and handed one life-term imprisonment for the killing free-thinking blogger and writer Avijit Roy in 2015.
Judge Mojibur Rahman handed death sentence to sacked army major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque, Mozammel Hussain alias Simon, Abu Siddique Sohail, Akram Hossain alias Abir and Md Arafat Rahman and fined Tk 50,000 each.
The judge sentenced Shafiur Rahman Farabi life-term imprisonment for the killing. Shafiur was also fined Tk 50,000 or two-year rigorous imprisonment in default, said prosecutor of the trinbunal Golam Sharuar Khan.
The convicts are all suspected members of banned extremist outfit Ansar al-Islam, formerly known as Ansarullah Bangla Team.
Of them, Ziaul and Akram are still hiding.
Mozammel, Sidduque, Arafat and Shafiur were in the court when the verdict was announced.
Ziaul, Akram, Mozammel and Sidduque were also sentenced to death on February 10 for the murder of Jagriti Prakashani publisher Foysal Arefin Dipon on October 31, 2015.
Dipon was the publisher of American-Bangladeshi blogger Avijit.
On February 26, 2015, Avijit was hacked to death on a pavement near Dhaka University TSC when he was leaving the Bangla Academy premises during Ekushey Book Fair. His wife Rafida Afrin Banya was also injured in the attack.
Both Avijit and Rafida were citizens of the United States and came to Bangladesh on the occasion of Ekushey Book Fair.
Later, Avijit’s father physicist Ajoy Roy filed a case with the Shahbagh police station on February 27, 2015 against unidentified assailants.
The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crimes unit of the police investigated the case and submitted the charge sheet to the court on March 13, 2019.
On August 1, 2019, the tribunal charged the six with murder.