I am no discard: SQ Chowdhury on verdict

"My last battle is not yet over," death row convict Salauddin Quader Chowdhury has told a jailor at Kashimpur Central Jail after his appeal verdict.

Gazipur CorrespondentAbul Hossain, bdnews24.com
Published : 29 July 2015, 07:02 AM
Updated : 29 July 2015, 02:46 PM

The BNP leader reacted after hearing on radio the Supreme Court's verdict on Wednesday confirming his death penalty for war crimes in 1971.

"I am no discard, no pushover," he reminded the jailor, insisting his 'fight for justice' was far from over.

His son Hummam Quader Chowdhury has said his lawyer will file a petition for review after receiving the full verdict of the four-strong appeals bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.

The appeals bench upheld the death penalty for Salauddin Quader meted out 21 months ago by the war crimes tribunal.

He was arrested on Dec 16, 2010 and has been in Gazipur's Kashimpur prison since Oct 23, 2012.

"Jailor Faridur Rahman Reza informed him (SQ Chowdhury) of the Supreme Court verdict at 10am in his cell. But he had already heard of the verdict on radio," said Kashimpur Jail Superintendent Subrata Kumar Bala.

Chowdhury has been provided by his family with a one-band radio under the jail regulations.

"Salauddin Quader Chowdhury appeared in pleasant mood," said jailor Reza.

"He said he will fight the last battle, he will go for a review. He is hoping to get justice on review," Reza said.

Reza quoted Chowdhury as saying, "I have been in politics for the country. I am no discard. Some may be unhappy now for what I have said and so I am facing harassment."

Chowdhury is the second former minister to have the death sentence upheld after Jamaat-e-Islami’s Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid.

During the trial, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's role in the large-scale killing of Hindus and Awami League activists during the 1971 Liberation War was recounted in some detail.

He is the eldest son of the former Muslim League leader Fazlul Quader Chowdhury.

The International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentenced him to death on Oct 1, 2013, for murdering Kundeshwari Oushadhalaya owner Nutan Chandra Singha, genocide of Hindus at Sultanpur and Unsattar Parha, and abduction and murder of a Hathazari Awami League leader and his son Sheikh Alamgir.

Chowdhury is the fifth to get a verdict on the appeal against the tribunal’s judgment.

A minister in HM Ershad's government, he told the jailor he was innocent and a “victim of political vendetta”.

He says he has been “falsely implicated”.

Jailor Reza said they were alert to the implications of Wednesday's verdict. "Security around the Kashimpur jail has been beefed up. The vigil has been intensified."

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher