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Discontent over lenient verdict
Publication Date : 06-02-2013
Jamaat-e-Islam assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah has been sentenced to life-term having been proven guilty on five counts out of six he had been charged with.
On three charges viz. killing Bangla College student Pallob; killing pro-liberation poet Meherun Nessa, her mother and two brothers; and murdering journalist Khondoker Abu Taleb, he has drawn a sentence of 15 years' imprisonment.
As for the accusations five and six Quader Mollah received a somewhat stiffer verdict of life imprisonment. The fifth charge related to attack on Alubdi village at Mirpur in collaboration with Pakistani occupation force and non-Bengali Rajakar in which 344 people got killed. The sixth charge pertained to finishing off Hazrat Ali Laskar, his spouse, two daughters and a two-year old child including rape of one his daughters at the initiative of Quader Mollah.
On count four relating to Quader Mollah and 60-70 Rajakars launching an attack on Khan Bari and Ghaterchar in Keraniganj in which more than one hundred innocent people were done to death. The tribunal acquitted him of this charge for a purported lack of evidence.
People bearing witness to the genocidal act on Alubdi village in which more than 300 people were killed have voiced their resentment against the verdict. They consider it too lenient for the severity of culpability of Quader Mollah's crimes. It is unacceptable to them, they want him hanged.
We had commended the government for its single-minded determination to start the trial process, persist with it, and the war crime tribunal handing down its first verdict meting out capital punishment to absconding Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar. In fact, we termed it as a historic verdict.
But we couldn't say the same thing about the second verdict against Abdul Quader Mollah which has fallen far short of meeting public expectations. What is more to the point, the victims feel justice has not been done to them, and they wail quietly for it.
We feel let down by this verdict as does this whole nation. The judgement admits that charges in most cases have been proved beyond reasonable doubt, and each of them can be deserving of the capital punishment. Hence, we are forced to say that we find the conclusion and the verdict somewhat discordant.