Four ambulances enter Dhaka Central Jail after families meet convicts

Four ambulances were seen entering the Dhaka Central Jail around 12:30am Sunday. This could indicate that at least one of the war criminals would be hanged shortly.

Published : 21 Nov 2015, 06:52 PM
Updated : 21 Nov 2015, 06:55 PM

The ambulance arrived at about the same time that the family of Mujahid was departing from the prison after meeting the condemned convict.

The families of death-row war crimes convicts Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid met them in the jail late Saturday evening.

They entered Dhaka Central Jail after 9:30pm on Saturday and left at around12:15am on Sunday.

President Md Abdul Hamid rejected the mercy petitions of the convicts, highly placed sources at around 9:30pm.

The families reached the prison gates at Nazimuddin Road at 9pm after the authorities called them.

The meeting and propping up of security hint at possible execution which could be any time soon.

They had earlier doubted that the war criminals had sought the president’s mercy, admitting to the crimes they had committed during the Liberation War.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told around 10pm that there was no obstacle to hanging the men.

Deployment of police and RAB personnel had been increased since Saturday morning, and was propped up manyfold in the afternoon.

Until 4pm, only RAB personnel were deployed in front of the prison at Old Dhaka’s Najimuddin Road, but now armed police have been also stationed in the area.

The families of war criminals Jamaat assistant secretaries general Abdul Quader Molla and Mohammad Kamaruzzaman had also met them before their executions in December 2013 and April this year respectively.

Salauddin Quader, a minister under military dictator HM Ershad, was given the death penalty on Oct 1, 2013. The apex court upheld the verdict on July 29.

Former Al-Badr militia commander Mujahid was sentenced to death on July 17, 2013 for murdering intellectuals and for the execution of Hindus in 1971. The Appellate Division upheld the penalty on June 16.

Journalists asked Hummam Quader Chowdhury about the mercy petition, when he emerged from the prison around 10:45pm.

“I asked my father, ‘Did you plead for mercy?’. He retorted, ‘Why are you babbling such nonsense?’

“I told him that the government was saying that the papers had been sent from the jail, to which he replied,  ‘You will see how many types of papers will come out during this government’s tenure’.”

The law minister confirmed around 2:30pm that both death-row convicts had sought mercy from the president.

However, Hummam had doubted the minister.

He went to the Bangabhaban to complain to the president about the “faulty” war crimes trial after a media conference at noon.

Mujahid’s family, on the other hand, urged the government to stop the execution until the Aug 21 grenade attack case was resolved, which accused the Jamaat leader.