Four to die, nine get life in prison for killing Shariatpur school teacher

A tribunal in Dhaka has sentenced four people to death and nine others to life in prison for killing a school teacher following a dispute over union parishad elections in Shariatpur.

Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-3 Judge Monir Kamal announced the verdict in the 11-year-old case on Wednesday.

The convicts who have received the death sentence are - Nuruzzaman Khan, Zahangir Matbar, Zulhas Matbar and Chan Mia. They have also been fined Tk 20,000 each.

“The murder took place due to a political dispute. The criminals cannot get mercy for such a heinous act. They need to be given the harshest punishment,” the verdict read.

The court handed life prison sentences to Abdul Halim Molla, former chairman of the Chikandi Union Parishad, Azizul Matbar, Farukh Khan, Azahar Matbar, Mizan Mir, Aktar Gazi, Jalil Matbar, Emdad Matbar and Lal Mia.

They have also been fined Tk 20,000 each and will have to spend an additional six months behind bars if they fail to pay.

Five suspects, Azibar Bali, Abdul Khandakar, Khokan Bepari, Azhar Molla and Sorab Molla, have been acquitted of charges.

But Azibar Ali, one of those acquitted, is the ‘mastermind’ of Samad Master’s murder, the victim’s wife Ferdousi Azad told  

“Abdus Samad was the headmaster of Chikandi Saraf Ali High School in Shariatpur Sadar Upazila. He ran for chairman of the Chikandi Union Parishad, but lost to Halim Molla in the polls by a narrow margin,” public prosecutor Mahbubur Rahman said.

“He was hacked to death in January 2010 following a dispute after launching a campaign for re-election.” 

“Abdus Samad Azad was killed in broad daylight near Santoshpur Bus Stand near Palong Police Station on Jan 15, 2010. Several people were wounded by gunfire while trying to save him,” according to the case dossier.

Samad’s wife Ferdousi filed a case against 30 people and 20 unidentified suspects with Palong Model Thana over the incident.

"The decision to acquit [Azibar Bali] is infuriating, but we want the rest of the verdict to be carried out,” the plaintiff said.