Two senior Bangladeshi opposition leaders were hanged on Saturday for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. Nationalist party leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and fundamentalist leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid were executed at the Dhaka Central Jail after President Abdul Hamid rejected their pleas for clemency, reported PTI. Sixty-seven-year-old Mujahid was from the main opposition Bangladesh National Party, while 66-year-old Chowdhury was secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami.
The Guardian reported that Mujahid was sentenced for his war crimes, which included killing many of the country’s top intellectuals, while Chowdhury was executed for the genocide he committed during the war and a violent campaign he led against Hindus, when he was aide to then opposition leader Khaleda Zia. The move was lauded by the ruling Awami League party.
Bangladesh’s supreme court had upheld their death sentences on Wednesday after the two men were convicted in 2013, along with a large group of other opposition leaders. Two other war criminals were hanged in 2013 and earlier this year. Heavy security was deployed in the country after the executions as their convictions had sparked massive violence in the country, in which over 500 people were killed.