Abhijit Roy has to pay for his life for free writing and expression. The court sentenced five militants to death for hacking scientific writer and blogger Abhijit Roy almost six years ago, saying the accused received no sympathy.
Abhijit was attacked on February 26, 2015 after leaving Suhrawardy Udyan’s wife after talking to scientifically-minded writers at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. He came to the country from the United States that year to visit the fair despite intimidation by militants. His wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya was also injured in the attack.
Abhijit, the son of physicist Professor Ajay Roy, lived in the United States. In addition to writing on various scientific topics, he ran a blog site called Muktamana. The killings shook the whole country. The mix is also created abroad.
Judge Mojibur Rahman of the Dhaka Special Counter-Terrorism Court on Tuesday announced the decision to assassinate Abhijit. Five of the six defendants have been sentenced to death and the other to life imprisonment. In addition, each of them has been fined 50,000 rubles.
The judgments are: Major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque alias Zia, Mozammel Hussain alias Simon (organization name Shahriar), Abu Siddique Sohail alias Shakib alias Sajab, Hossain alias Abir and Md. Arafat Rahman.
Another accused, extreme blogger Shafiur Rahman Farabi, has been sentenced to life in prison. He was sentenced to another two years in severe prison for non-payment of the fine. Among those convicted are Zia and Akram fleeing.
Early in the morning, four defendants were brought to justice from Kashimpur prison in the midst of tight security. They were brought to court at 11.45. They were taken to court wearing bulletproof jackets, helmets and handcuffs. The judge began reading the verdict at 12.10 p.m. Observing the verdict at the time, the judge said: ‘Evidence analysis shows that Abhijit Roy was a science writer and blogger. He was attacked on the way back after taking part in a discussion with science writers at the Bangla Academy book fair. Abhijit Roy was brutally killed by members of Ansar al-Islam, who was banned as an atheist, the main attackers, including those accused in the case.
The court said: “Abhijit Roy will have to pay the price for writing his life and expressing an opinion. His assassination was intended to disrupt and impede freedom of expression by disrupting public safety. So in the future, no one can write and express their opinions freely. ‘
The judge announced the verdict at 12.22 p.m. The judge said: “There is no way to make the role of the accused small or large in order to prevent people from expressing their views and independent action by creating a panic that endangers public safety in Bangladesh.” As the five accused Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque aka Major Zia, Akram Hossain, Md. Abu Siddique Sohail, Mozammel Hussain alias Simon and Md. As a member of Arafat Rahman alias Siam Ansar al-Islam, he has made significant efforts to assassinate Abhijit Roy, for which five convicts should be given the same punishment.
The judge said: “If the accused involved in Abhijit Roy’s murder survives, members outside the Ansari and Islamic trials are motivated to commit the same crime, and scientific and volunteer writers do not have the courage to write and write. To express their opinions freely.”
The court found that if the five convicts were sentenced to the maximum death penalty under section 8 (2) (i) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2009, the relatives of the deceased would have peace and liberal writers would be encouraged to express their views freely. Militants, in turn, fear and depress in the future to commit such horrific crimes.
Although another accused, Shafiur Rahman Farabi, was not directly involved in the murder, he was accused of inciting the murder by posting on Facebook. According to the court, Farabi is sentenced to life imprisonment under section 6 (2) and (6) (a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2009.
“The state welcomes the verdict,” Golam Charwar Khan Zakir, the court’s attorney general, told reporters after the verdict.
Defendant’s lawyer Nazrul Islam said: ” There were many mistakes in the case from the beginning. However, the court sentenced five people to death and one to life imprisonment. We are dissatisfied with this judgment. I appeal to the Supreme Court. ‘
On February 4, the court set a date for the verdict after presenting the arguments of the state and the accused. Of all the 34 witnesses in the case, 26 have testified. On January 21, the third investigating officer in the case, Monirul Islam, an inspector of the Police Counter-Terrorism Unit, testified in court as the last witness. Then, on January 26, four defendants arrested in prison did not find guilt in court and appealed to the court. During a presentation of the state’s reasoning, prosecutor Golam Charwar Khan Zakir prayed for the death sentences of six defendants.
Attacks on writers, publishers, bloggers and online activists began in 2004. Humayun Azad, a professor and author at Dhaka University, broke in and was injured on February 26 of that year. He died on 12 August. Then on December 24, Professor Yunus of Rajshah University was hacked. Then on February 15, 2013, blogger Rajiv Haider was killed. Several became infected the following year as well. However, 2015 was a terrible year. On February 26 of that year, author Abhijit Roy broke into death in the TSC area. Abhiji and his wife Bonya Chapati attacked the TSC area of the University of Dhaka at about 21.15 on the way home from the book fair. The injured were taken to Dhaka Medical College (DMC) Hospital, where Abhijit died at about 10.30pm. The next day, February 26, Abhijit’s father, Ajay Roy, a former physics professor at Dhaka University, left the murder case at the Shahbaghi police station. The Police Detective Department (DB) first launched an investigation, but later responsibility for the investigation fell to the Police Counter-Terrorism Unit.
On March 13, 2019, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Sarafuzzaman Ansari filed a lawsuit against six in court, said Counter-Terrorism Unit Inspector Monirul Islam. According to the indictment, evidence of the involvement of 12 people in the murder of Abhijit was found, but the full names and addresses of five of them were not found. The other six have been accused of ‘shooting’. The accused are members of the Ansar al-Islam battle group. Abhijit was fired at the behest of Majesty Zia, the leader of a forbidden militant group.
On August 1 of the same year, the court indicted the defendants and ordered the commencement of the trial.
It may be mentioned that on October 31, 2015, Faisal Arefin Dipo, a friend of Abhijit and the owner of Jagriti Prakashan, the publisher of his book, was hacked. Dipan, the son of Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque, a professor at the University of Dhaka, was attacked in the office of his organization on the third floor of the Aziz supermarket in Shizbag. On the same day, three people, including Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury Tutul, director of Shuddhaswar, the second publisher of the book Abhijit, attacked Lalmatia. On February 10, eight Ansar al-Islam militants, including Zia, were sentenced to death in the Dipan assassination.