The High Court on Sunday (October 2) commuted the death sentence of six convicts to life-term imprisonment over two separate murder cases in Narayanganj and Cumilla.
The higher court commuted the death sentence of four convicts to life-term imprisonment in the Monir Hossain murder case at Sonargaon upazila in Narayanganj. The court, however, upheld the life-term imprisonment of the two other convicts in the murder case.
The death-row convicts, whose sentences were commuted, are- Ataul Hamid Poragh, Alamgir Hossain, Ershad Hossain Bhuttu and Ratan Ibn Masud. Gulzar Hossain and Shaheen were sentenced to life-term imprisonment in the case. Among them, Shaheen is absconding.
The HC bench of Justice Habibul Gani and Justice Kazi Ebadul Hoque passed down the death sentence after examining the death reference and hearing appeal filed by the convicts in the case.
Senior lawyer of the Supreme Court Advocate Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, Advocate SM Shahjahan and Advocate M Masud Rana appeared for the convicts in the court, while Deputy Attorney General Nowroz Md Rasel Chowdhury and Assistant Attorney General MMG Sarwar Payel represented the state.
According to the case statement, vegetable trader Monir Hossain, son of Akkas Ali of Musarchar village under Jampur union of Sonargaon upazila, was killed on June 18 in 2007. On the night of that date, the convicts called Monir Hossain and stabbed him to death in a field. Later, they threw the body of Monir Hossain into a pond next to the field. They covered the body with water hyacinths.
After the pronouncement of the verdict by the Narayanganj’s trial court, the death reference was sent to the High Court for approval of the death sentence. The convicts also filed appeal.
On the other hand, another bench of the High Court commuted the death sentence given by a trial court of Cumilla to life sentence to a man along with his wife in the murder case of restaurant employee Zahir Mia at Kaptanbazar area of Cumilla 15 years ago.
The two convicts are- Shirin Akhter, daughter of Rowshan Ali of Varella village at Burichong upazila in Cumilla and wife of victim Zahir and her lover Dulal Chandra Bhattacharya, son of Kumod Chandra Bhattacharya of Jhankunipara area of Cumilla city.
The HC bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice KM Imrul Kayes commuted the death sentence of the two convicts after holding hearing on the death reference and appeal filed by the convicts in the murder case.
Lawyer of the Supreme Court Md Jahedul Alam argued for the convicts in the court, while Deputy Attorney General Sheikh Saifuzzaman Zaman represented the state.
According to the case statement, Zahir was killed by injecting poisonous drugs mixed with saline into his body and pressing his mouth with a pillow in the night on February 18 in 2007.
Victim’s elder brother filed a murder case in Comilla court accusing Zahir’s wife Shirin Akhter and two to three unidentified persons. Later, Zahir’s body was exhausted from the grave and sent to Cumilla Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy. After the investigation, police filed charge-sheet against Shirin and her boyfriend Dulal Chandra Bhattacharya.
After the trial, a Cumilla court on March 21 in 2017 sentenced the duo to death. Later, the death reference was sent to the High Court for approval of the death sentence. The convicts also filed an appeal.