Dhaka court indicts Huji leader, 13 others for blast in 2001

April 17th, 2009 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, April 17 (IANS) A Bangladesh court has indicted Mufti Abdul Hannan, leader of the banned Islamist outfit Harkatul Jihad Islami (Huji), and 13 others for causing the 2001 blast at a city rally that killed 10 and injured scores of people.
The blast occurred in 2001 at Dhaka’s Ramna Batamul area during Pahela Baisakh, the Bengali New Year celebration.

Metropolitan Sessions Judge A.N.M. Bashir Ullah Thursday rejected the discharge petitions submitted by the counsels for Hannan and five others and framed charges against all 14 accused.

Five of the accused produced before the court amid tight security pleaded not guilty after the charges brought against them were read out, The Daily Star said Friday.

Moulana Tajuddin, younger brother of former Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu, and seven other accused are absconding. Charges were framed against them in absentia.

The chargesheet said Ramna Batamul, where thousands of people gather to celebrate the Bangla New Year, was chosen as the target because Huji considers Pahela Baishakh celebrations anti-Islamic.

Moulana Tajuddin supplied the bombs. He also supplied grenades for carrying out the attack on an Awami League rally on Bangabandhu Avenue Aug 21, 2004, the media report said.

Huji is one of the four organisations banned by then Khaleda Zia government (2001-06) after the activities of Islamist militant bodies raised protests at home and among the international community.

Media reports have said these organisations have managed to regroup and step up their activities despite the ban.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday sought the cooperation of Islamic leaders and scholars in finding out terrorists and troublemakers.

“Islam is a religion of peace, but a vested quarter is undermining the image of this religion,” she said while exchanging views with a delegation of madrassa and Islamic leaders.

The government wants to bring under its control the quami madrassas (seminaries) that belong to different schools of Islamic theology to monitor their activities and keep a check on their misuse by militants.

The government move comes after the discovery of arms, ammunition and explosives in a British NGO funded madrassa on Bhola island in southern Bangladesh.

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