Killing innocent people is violative of prophetic tradition, HC observes in verdict of attack on British envoy

The High Court has upheld the death sentences of three, including Harkat-ul-Jihad Al Islami (HuJI) leader Mufti Hannan, and life imprisonment for two others in the verdict.

The court published the 167-page full verdict on Thursday over the attack that took place 12 years ago in Sylhet.

The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Amir Hossain gave the verdict on Feb 11 after hearing the appeals against the death sentences and death references.

In 2004, Choudhury came under grenade attack while coming out of Hazrat Shahjalal’s shrine in his home town, Sylhet.

Assistant Sub-inspector Kamal Uddin died on the spot and constables Rubel Ahmed and Habil Miah succumbed to their injuries in a hospital.

At least 40 persons, including Chowdhury and Sylhet’s deputy commissioner were injured in the May 21 attack.

A Sylhet court gave its verdict in the attack on Dec 23, 2008.

HuJI leaders Mufti Hannan, Sharif Shahedul Alam aka Bipul and Delwar Hossain aka Ripon got death and life sentences were awarded to Mohibullah aka Mofizur Rahman and Mufti Moin Uddin aka Abu Zandal.

All the convicts are in jail pending trial in other cases over similar attacks.

Deputy Attorney General Sheikh AKM Moniruzzaman Kabir said he received a copy of the High Court’s full verdict.

“The charges against the convicts of plotting and killing have been proved in the verdict. Now there is no legal bar to execute them if they do not appeal (in the Appellate Division) against the verdict,” he said.

Kabir said the convicts have 30 days from the publishing of the full verdict to file the appeals.

Lawyer Mohammad Ali, who stood for Hannan and three other convicts, said he was yet to get a copy of the full verdict and will appeal in the Supreme Court after getting the copy.

Kabir said the court observed that if someone plots something and someone else hears it, the other person will also be considered as a part of the conspiracy.

“The court has opined that it can also be taken as witness,” he said.

In the full verdict, the judges referred to verses from the Qur’an and Hadiths in a separate part titled, “Islam: Unjust Killing and Terrorism”.

“One can appreciate the value and inviolability of human life in Islam by realizing that the act of killing a human being has been equated with slaughtering the entire human race,” the court observed.

“So in other words unjust killing is completely forbidden, no matter what religion, language or citizenship is held by the victim. This is a sin as grave as killing the whole of humanity,” the verdict underlined this observation to put emphasis on it.

Referring to a Hadith, the judges said, “This Hadith contains a strict warning to those who masterminds terrorist acts and misinterprets the Holy Qur’an by brainwashing youth with glad tidings of Paradise for murdering peaceful civilians.”

“Thus, the criminal acts and conspiracy of explosion of bombs and grenades and killing of innocent people by the accused persons are also violative of the injunctions of Holy Qur’an and prophetic traditions,” they added.