Ramna Batamul blast explosive case stuck in absence of witnesses
DOT Desk: In long 18 years since the bombing at Barshabaran program at the capital’s Ramna Batamul area, the case lodged under the Explosive Substances Act, moved a little as the witnesses are not coming to testify despite repeated summons and warrants issued by the court, reports BSS.
“We have been able to examine only 26 out of the total 84 witnesses in around five years in the case lodged under the Explosive Substance Act. The witnesses are not appearing before the court even after the court issued non-bailable warrant against them,” Dhaka metropolitan public prosecutor Abdullah Abu told BSS today.
He further said the accused and the witnesses in both the murder case and the case lodged under the explosive act are same and as the proceedings of the two cases did not go on concurrently, the proceedings of the second case got delayed.
Police, however, said they are trying their best to produce the witnesses. As the witnesses are ‘respectable persons’ police are only requesting them to come and testify before court.
“We are executing the orders, through which summons and non-bailable warrant were issued against the witnesses. As the witnesses are respected persons, we are requesting them to appear before the court. It would be disrespectful for them to arrest and produce before court,” deputy commissioner (DC) Masudur Rahman of DMP’s media and public relations wing told BSS.
Echoing his counterpart’s statement, defence counsel Faruk Ahammed too blamed absence of witnesses for dilly delaying in the case proceedings.
“We want to see the quick disposal of the case. The court through its verdict would decide who is guilty and who is innocent,” he added.
Additional metropolitan sessions’ judge court on June 23, 2014, sentenced eight people to death and six others to life imprisonment in the murder case lodged over the incident, where 10 innocent persons were killed as several bombs were blasted in the Barshabaran programme (traditional programme to welcome the first day of Bengali New Year) on April 14, 2001.
Of the people, convicted to death in the case, banned militant outfit Harqat-ul Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan was executed in 2017, in another case.
Dhaka speedy trial tribunal-1 on the other hand, framed charges against 14 including Mufti Hannan in the case lodged under the explosive act over the Ramna Batamul carnage on September 14, 2014.