Kazi Aref murder: 3 killers hanged
Three condemned killers of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) leader Kazi Aref Ahmed were executed at Jessore Central Jail tonight 17 years into the killing.
The killers are: Safayat Hossain Habib, Anwar Hossain, and Rasedul Islam Jhantu. All were top cadres of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Laltu).
Execution of Habib and Hossain took place at 11:01pm and Jhantu at 11:40pm on Thursday night, our Kustia correspondent reports quoting jail authorities.
Kazi Aref, an organiser of Bangladesh’s liberation war, was killed along with four Kushtia JSD unit leaders after a rally at Kalidaspur in Daulatpur upazila of Kushtia on February 16, 1999.
The convicts shot Aref several times after he had finished his speech at the rally.
Lokman Hossain, then JSD's Kushtia district unit president, its General Secretary Yakub Ali and activists Israil Hossain and Shamsher Mandal were killed moments before Aref was murdered.
Aref's widow Rawsan Jahan Sathi told The Daily Star over the phone that she wanted to see the execution of all convicts awarded the death penalty for her husband's murder.
She expressed dissatisfaction over five accused, sentenced to death, being at large and the “acquittal of the mastermind of the killing”.
Deceased Lokman's son, Ali Ahsan Mujahid, also demanded immediate execution of all the convicts sentenced to death.
Daulatpur upazila JSD held a rally at Kalidaspur Government Primary School ground and around 1,500 activists and supporters gathered there.
Aref, the then JSD president, was the chief guest. The armed killers stormed the venue around 4:45pm and fired several shots in the air.
They asked for the four JSD leaders and after identifying them, the murderers killed Lokman, Yakub, Shamsher and Israil.
When Aref begged the perpetrators not to kill his leaders, convict Jhantu asked Aref for his name.
As Aref divulged his identity, the killers said that they were looking for him too and that they had orders from their leader to kill Aref.
Jhantu and convict Habib then opened fired on Aref.
The entire attack was over in 15 minutes.
According to the charge sheet, JSD's stance against criminal activities of the PBCP and JSD severing its ties with Gono Bahini was the reason behind the killing.
PBCP-Laltu's chief Laltu was angered by the JSD's stance as he had joined hands with some of Gono Bahini leaders.
“Laltu was one of the masterminds of the killing and organised a team to carry out the mission,” said Khorshed Alam, a key witness in the case.
Laltu was awarded life imprisonment for the killings but was later acquitted of the charges in 2008.
But according to the confessional statements of Jhantu and Habib, the plan for the killing was made with Laltu 14 to 15 days ahead.