Bangladesh on Wednesday night executed Mufti Abdul Hannan, the head of banned militant organisation Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami, and his associates Delwar Hossain Ripon and Sharif Sahedul Bipul for carrying out a grenade attack in Shahjalal shrine in 2004. Three people including two police officers had died in the attack. The Bangladesh Supreme Court had upheld their death sentences last month and President Abdul Hamid had turned down their clemency pleas last week.
Hannan’s body was buried in Gopalganj’s Hiron village. While Ripon’s body was buried in Moulvibazar’s Kulaura, Bipul’s was buried in Chandpur, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The HuJI chief and his aide Sharif Shahedul Bipul were executed at Kashimpur jail on the outskirts of Dhaka, while Ripon was hanged to death at Sylhet jail, reported the Dhaka Tribune. The executions took place at 10 pm on Wednesday. The bodies of the three militants were taken to the hospital for autopsy (pictured above) amid tight security.
The residents of Kotalipara village in Gopalganj had resisted the burial of Hannan in his ancestral home there, Dhaka Tribune reported. They had alleged that Hannan’s father was against the independence of Bangladesh and had unfurled the Pakistani flag after the 1971 war.
“By executing Hannan, the country has been freed from the burden of such a notorious militant,” Hiron Union Parishad Chairman Ebadul Islam told the Bangladeshi daily.
The three militants were convicted in 2008 and had sentenced to death for the attack in Sylhet on the then British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in 2004. Two others, Mohibullah and Abu Jandal, had been sentenced to life in prison. Choudhury, who had been holding the post of high commissioner at that time only for 18 days, had narrowly escaped the attack and sustained only minor injuries.
HuJI was formed in 1992 and its chief Hannan had been convicted in several other cases. Hannan was also sentenced to death for a bomb attack which killed 10 people on a Bengali New Year’s celebration in 2001. The militant organisation was also behind the bomb blast in 2004 at a rally organised by then Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina. The attack left 23 people dead and more than 150 people injured. Hasina is now the prime minister of Bangladesh, and had recently made a trip to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.