Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court Wednesday sentenced nine activists of a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led alliance to death and 25 others lifetime imprisonment for attacking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina 25 years ago when she was the Opposition leader, media reports said.
Hasina was leading a nationwide campaign by rail when her coach came under attack upon arriving in Pabna’s Ishwardy September 23, 1994. Hasina survived the assault carried out during BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s first term as prime minister.
Additional Sessions Judge Rostom Ali also jailed 13 people for 10 years.
The railway police, as plaintiff, initiated a case against 135 people in connection with the incident. But the investigation hit a snag during the BNP’s rule before picking up speed once the Awami League formed government in 1996, reports said. Police later submitted a charge sheet against 52 accused at the end of the probe.
After the verdict, local BNP activists held a protest on the court premises while ruling Awami League supporters and activists held separate procession expressing satisfaction over the judgement.
The judgement came on the day Hasina arrived in Beijing for an official visit.