A court in Dhaka has sentenced one man to prison until death and another to life imprisonment in absentia for killing a seven-year-old child in Dhaka’s Kadamtali area back in 2016.
Dhaka's Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge Md Morshed Alam delivered the verdict on Sunday.
The convicts are Md Hanif and Zahid Hossain. Police have yet to arrest them. The court has issued an arrest warrant and a sentencing warrant against them.
Hanif was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life along with a fine of Tk 50,000, while Zahid has been sentenced to life imprisonment in addition to a fine of Tk 5,000.
Advocate Syed Nazmul Huda, the plaintiff's lawyer, immediately reacted after the verdict by saying that his clients were not happy with the verdict and that they would appeal it to a higher court.
"The prime accused in the case has given a confessional statement to the court. We expected him to get the maximum sentence [death sentence],” he said.
Ayesha Akhtar, the mother of the 7-year-old victim Abdullah, said after the verdict that she fears for her life as the convicts in the case have yet to be arrested.
"I have been coming to court for six years. They [convicts] first threatened my husband and I after getting bail in this case and later wanted to settle outside court in exchange for money,” she said.
“I am happy with this verdict. However, the convicts are still out, so I fear for my family.”
According to the case details, Abdullah, the son of Mustafa Mia and Ayesha Begum, a resident of the Alibahar area of Shyampur, went missing on Sept 21, 2016.
Later, his body was found in the mud and water on the premises of the closed Ujala Match Factory in Kadamtali.
Police learned during the investigation that a few days before the incident, Hanif, also a resident in the Alibahar area, had splashed water on Abdullah, which led to a shouting match between Hanif and the boy's father. Mostafa later took the matter to the local Panchayat [arbitration], which irked Hanif and the two scuffled.
A few days later, Ayesha had a shouting match with Hanif over the incident, which made Hanif angry enough to vow retribution.
Hanif and his cohort Zahid abducted Abdullah from a field where he was playing with other kids and took him inside the factory.
They killed him by hitting the child on the head and face with stones.
On Jan 17, 2018, Detective Branch Deputy Inspector Ershad Hossain, pressed charges against Hanif and Zahid.
The trial proceedings started on Jul 11 of the same year,