July 5, 2005 : a Speedy Trial Tribunal in Natore, Bangladesh, sentenced five men to death by hanging in the Maju murder case.
Judge Aminul Islam of the Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal handed down the verdict against the five after the court found them guilty of killing Majedur Rahman Mridha alias Maju on April 2003. Maju was a cousin of Ruhul Quddus Talukder, Deputy Minister for Land.
The five convicts were : Ataur, Ashraf, Ashraful Islam Raja, Saiful Islam and Abdul Jalil alias Shimul.
Of the five, Saiful was killed by members of an Islamic Mujahid group in March 2004 and Ataur, a regional commander of Purba Banglar Communist Party (Red Flag) who was caught with illegal weapons, was sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment by a court in May 2004. Of the remaining three, only Ashraf was in jail while the two others were on the run.
Outlawed terrorists had claimed responsibility for beheading Maju along a railway track on April 4, 2003. Maju was the President of Madhabnagar Union BNP.
Giving his reaction to the verdict, Deputy Minister for Land Ruhul Quddus Talukder Bulu said it proved that there was the rule of law in the country. "After this verdict, the killers would think twice before committing such murders and always remember that they would have to face similar trial," he said. (Sources : United News of Bangladesh Limited, 05/07/2005)