• Tuesday, May 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 06:33 pm

BDR carnage case: Why was ex-Awami League leader Torab Ali spared?

  • Published at 09:26 pm November 28th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:23 pm November 28th, 2017
BDR carnage case: Why was ex-Awami League leader Torab Ali spared?
The High Court has acquitted the former ward-level leader of Dhaka City Awami League, Torab Ali, of conspiracy charges and commuted the death sentence of Zakir Hossain to life imprisonment over the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) revolt in 2009. Torab and former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu were among those handed life terms in the Pilkhana carnage trial, although Pintu died of cardiac arrest in prison in 2015. Zakir Hossain is the son of former BDR member, Nayek Subedar Kanchan Ali. The reasons behind Torab's acquittal and commuting of Zakir's punishment could not be known as the full text of the High Court's verdict is yet to be published. Deputy Attorney General KM Zahid Sarwar Kazal told the media that they were thinking of moving the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the Torab's acquittal and Zakir's life-term. The trial court had convicted Torab for conspiracy based on his confessional statement, while also accusing investigators of bias for not recording witnesses accounts against Torab. For Pintu, the trial court took two witness accounts into consideration.
Also Read- Pilkhana carnage: High Court upholds death for 139 out of 152
In its 2013 verdict, the trial court said that Torab Ali came to know about the mutiny conspiracy on the night of February 24, 2009 from Zakir Hossain, who operated the Prime Coaching Centre used by the BDR soldiers to publish their leaflets. Despite this knowledge, Torab did not inform the law enforcers or the authorities concerned. Instead, the following day - the first day of the mutiny - he brought out processions at gates no 1 and 5 of the Pilkhana headquarters. The marchers chanted slogans such as “BDR, Janata bhai bhai” (the BDR soldiers and the people are brothers). The BDR men also held clandestine meetings at Torab’s residence. They also contacted Pintu, who organized the rebel soldiers to bring out processions inside the BDR headquarters before the mutiny began. The High Court also commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences handed down to BDR's MLSS Md Saif Uddin Miah, Sepoy Ramjan Ali, Lance Naik Md. Mozammel Haque, Nayek Subadar medical assistant Manuranjan Sarker, Nayek Md Ali Hossain, Sepoy Kamrul Hasan and Sepoy Md Selim. It also acquitted four death row convicts: Havilder Md Khairul Alam, Nayek Subedar Md Ali, Havilder Md Belal Hossain Khan and Sepoy Md Mejbah Uddin. Of the 160 life-term convicts, 12 were acquitted of the charges by the High Court. A total of 225 of the 256 convicts who were given several years' imprisonments, had filed review appeals with the High Court. Of them, two got 13 years, 182 got 10 years, eight got seven years and four got three years' imprisonment. The court acquitted 29 accused from this list, while six accused had died during trial. The convictions ranging from three years to 10 years' imprisonment awarded by the lower court stayed the same for 28 accused as they did not file any appeal with the HC. As a result, among 846 accused, 288 were given acquittals.