Death-row convict in Hasina assassination attempt case arrested in Dhaka

| Updated: March 05, 2022 16:26:18

Death-row convict in Hasina assassination attempt case arrested in Dhaka

The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police has arrested a fugitive militant, who was sentenced to death in a case over a conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Gopalganj's Kotalipara in 2000.

The arrestee, Md Azizul Haque Rana, 44, was one of 14 militants convicted in the case.

The anti-terrorism unit apprehended him in Dhaka’s Khilkhet area on Tuesday night, reports bdnews24.com.

“Azizul has been absconding for 22 years. He has been concealing his real identity by working as a rubber-stamp maker at Khilkhet,” CTTC chief Md Asaduzzaman said at a media briefing on Wednesday.

He was also a close aide of Mufti Hannan, chief of the banned militant outfit Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (HuJI).

“A court sentenced 14 militants to death in the case. Sedition charges were also brought against the convicts. The Dhaka Speedy Tribunal-1 judge ordered the execution of the convicts by firing squad in March last year,” Asaduzzaman said.

“Four other convicts in the case, Lokman, Yusuf alias Moshab Morol, Sheikh Md Enamul Haque and Moshab Hasan alias Rashu, are still on the run. All of the convicts are members of HuJI.”

Azizul is an expert bomb maker and maintained close ties with the militant group even while he was on the run, according to the CTTC. He also goes by the aliases 'Shahnewaz’ and ‘Ruman’, Asaduzzaman added.

In 2000, police found two 76-kg 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.

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