High Court set to deliver verdict in JU student Zubair murder

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Dhaka, 25 January: Justice Bhabani Prasad Singha and Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam started reading out the verdicts at 10:50am Wednesday.

In 2015, the trial court sentenced five people to death and six others to life in prison— all of them activists of the university unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League or BCL, the ruling Awami League’s student affiliate.

Among the five death row convicts Rashedul Islam Raju filed an appeal and the others are absconding. One of the six convicts, who received life imprisonment, was a fugitive while the rest challenged the trial court’s verdict.

The HC bench will decide whether the sentences will be upheld or not.

Deputy Attorney General Jahid Sarwar is representing the state while lawyer Rana Kawser the defendants.

An English Department student, Zubair was an activist of the BCL. The final year student was hacked to death in an attack on the campus that stemmed from an internal feud on Jan 8, 2012.

After the death of Zubair, a student-teacher movement led to the resignation of then Vice-Chancellor Professor Sharif Enamul Kabir.

The erstwhile registrar of the university Hamidur Rahman filed the case for Zubair’s murder with Ashulia Police. The case’s Investigation Officer Mir Shahin Shah Parvez submitted a charge sheet against 13 students of the 37th batch on Apr 8, 2012.

The case was transferred to Dhaka’s Fourth Speedy Trial Tribunal on Aug 13 that year after it had reached indictment stage.

On Feb 8, 2015, Judge Nizamul Haq of the tribunal sentenced five people to death and six others to life in prison and acquitted two.

The death-row convicts are Ashiqul Islam Ashique, Khan Mohammed Royees, and Zahid Hassan of Zoology, Rashedul Islam Razu of Philosophy, and Mahbub Akram of Government and Politics. All of them except Razu were absconding when the verdict was announced.

Shafiul Alam Setu and Abhinandan Kundu of Statistics, Kamruzzaman Sohag of Philosophy, Mahmudul Hasan of History, Nazmus Shakib Tapu of Microbiology, and Istiaque Mehbub Arup of Philosophy received life terms. Arup is absconding while the rest are behind bars.

Murder of Zubair is a result of unethical activities by student fronts active in public universities, the trial court had observed.

Such acts bring on miseries to families of the victims and question humanity. “Violence, aggression, anarchy and disorder on campus tarnish educational atmosphere and is in no way acceptable.”

Perpetrators of campus violence were not brought to book lately. As a result, more of such incidents are occurring, observed the court.