Top JI leader jailed for life in Bangladesh; riots follow


Dhaka, Feb 5: A top leader of Bangladesh's fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami was today sentenced to life by a special tribunal here for "crime against humanity" committed during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan, sparking riots that claimed at least one life.
 "He (Abdul Kader Mollah) will serve life term," said chairman of the three-member International Crimes Tribunal Justice Obaidul Hassan.
 Mollah, assistant secretary general of the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami, was produced before the court under heavy security escort from Dhaka Central Jail.
 The tribunal said five of the six charges against Mollah were proved during the trial.
 Court officials said that under the Bangladeshi law 65-year-old Mollah would need to serve 30 years in jail as the Penal Code suggests this timeframe to be treated as life term.
 Mollah sat quietly in the dock as the judgement was being delivered and jumped to his feet as soon as the verdict was pronounced and shouted claiming innocence.
 "This verdict is fabricated and I will file a case (appeal) against it for sure," he screamed as the police took him away to be shifted to Dhaka Central Jail.
 Violence gripped the capital Dhaka and several other major cities after the verdict.
 Police said a man was shot dead in clashes between JI activists in southeastern Chittagong.
 Incidentally, rival activists also took to the street demanding a revision of the trial and death penalty for Mollah.
 The judgment came as the JI enforced a nationwide general strike demanding halt of the trial of their top seven leaders for 1971 war crimes siding with Pakistani troops while the extreme right-wing party called for a shutdown tomorrow for the "politically motivated and government directed judgment".

Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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