The case has been stuck for the last five years
Five years have passed but there has been no progress in the case filed over the Hussaini Dalan bomb blast which took place right before bringing out the traditional Tajia procession marking Holy Ashura in 2015.
No witness testified before the court in the case in the last two years since October 22, 2018, making the five-year-old case linger.
The trial in this case against 10 members of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is now pending with Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka.
On May 31, 2017, the trial began through framing charges against the 10 members of JMB in the much talked about case.
Later, a total of 11 witnesses out of 46 had been examined by the court in the case during the period from June 2017 to October 2018.
The last recording of deposition in the case was held on October 22, 2018, almost two years ago, when the 11th witness Abu Sayeed testified at the tribunal.
Since then, no witness testified before the tribunal in the last 20 scheduled dates in the case since October 22, 2018, to August 24 this year. The next hearing date is September 29.
Obstacles in the case
Court sources said recording testimonies of witnesses came to a stop after defence counsel Faruk Ahamed submitted petitions claiming that two accused -- Zahid Hasan and Masud Rana -- were children and sought separate trials for them.
Following the petitions, the court ordered Detective Branch (DB) inspector Shafiuddin, also investigation officer (IO) of the case, to submit reports in this connection.
Later, the IO submitted a supplementary charge sheet against child Jahid Hasan for his trial under the Juvenile Court. However, he has not submitted a report on accused Masud Rana till now.
“The recording of testimonies of witnesses in the case got stuck as the petition regarding the accused Masud Rana is not being resolved till now,” said defence counsel Faruk Ahamed.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, he also said: “The trial got stuck due to the mistake of the IO in the case. He [IO] had submitted charge sheets against two children along with the adults accused.”
The tribunal’s Special Public Prosecutor Md Golam Sharuar Khan Zakir told Dhaka Tribune: “The trial in the case is delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a petition submitted by the defence counsel regarding an accused which is halting the disposal of the case.
“We are trying our level best to complete the trial but it is being delayed due to legal complexities,” he added.
However, allegations were found that the prosecution and other concerned officials are not giving proper attention toward completing the case and are rather delaying the trial.
Overview of the case
According to the case, on October 23, 2015, two persons, including a schoolboy named Sanju, 15, were killed and over 100 others injured when militants launched a terrible grenade attack at a crowd at the Hussaini Dalan premises.
During the attack, people from the Shia community were gathering near the building to bring out a traditional Tajia procession to mark the holy Ashura.
The day marks the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM), and the Shia community has been observing the day for centuries.
Later, Sub-inspector Jalal Uddin of Chawk Bazar Police Station filed the case under anti-terrorism act over the incident.
DB Inspector Shafiuddin, also IO of the case, on October 18, 2016, submitted a charge sheet against the 10 accused in the cases.
Of the 10 accused, Kabir Hossain, Jahid Hasan, Rubel Islam, Abu Sayeed, Arman and Masud Rana are now in jail while Hafez Ahsan Ullah Masud, Shah Jalal, Omar Faruk Manik, and Chan Miah are on bail.