Court Upholds Jamaat stalwart Mir Quasem’s Death Sentence

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Dhaka: The International Crimes Tribunal had sentenced him to death for atrocities against Bangalees committed during the Liberation War in 1971. Mir Quasem had challenged the verdict.

He was the Al Badr’s third most important functionary after Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid.

His funding helped the Jamaat secure a strong foothold in independent Bangladesh. Early last year, the ICT had sentenced him to death for the killing of young freedom fighter Jashim Uddin Ahmed and eight others and to 72 years in prison for acts of abduction and torture.

The apex court has upheld the punishment on eight counts, acquitted him on one, and changed the penalty in another. People in court sighed with relief as the verdict came.

Earlier, an observation by the chief justice during the hearing had cast doubts in the minds of many, including two ministers, about which way the verdict would go.

The verdict cited the crimes against humanity Quasem committed as the Chittagong area commander of the Al-Badr, a militia formed with members of the Chhatra Sangha to help the Pakistan Army during the war.

Freedom fighters, followers of the Ganajagaran Mancha in Dhaka’s Shahbagh and ordinary people in Chittagong and other parts of the country rejoiced over the apex court’s decision. Celebratory marches were held in some places.

Mir Quasem, founding president of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, has been member of the Jammat-e-Islami’s Central Executive Council and the organisation’s fifth most important leader.

Earlier, an observation by the chief justice during the hearing had cast doubts in the minds of many, including two ministers, about which way the verdict would go.

The verdict cited the crimes against humanity Quasem committed as the Chittagong area commander of the Al-Badr, a militia formed with members of the Chhatra Sangha to help the Pakistan Army during the war.

Freedom fighters, followers of the Ganajagaran Mancha in Dhaka’s Shahbagh and ordinary people in Chittagong and other parts of the country rejoiced over the apex court’s decision. Celebratory marches were held in some places.

Mir Quasem, founding president of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, has been member of the Jammat-e-Islami’s Central Executive Council and the organisation’s fifth most important leader.

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