Fugitive arrested 19 years after attack on Sheikh Hasina’s convoy

Dhaka: Nineteen years after an attack on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s convoy at Satkhira on August 30, 2002, the police have arrested a fugitive who was convicted of the crime.

Arifur Rahman Ranju, a fugitive offender who was convicted for attacking Sheikh Hasina’s convoy in a 2002, was apprehended by the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) from the Hazaribagh area in Dhaka on Friday.

The former leader of Chhatra Dal, the student wing of the BNP, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with the case.

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A.K.M. Hafiz Akhter, Additional Commissioner of DMP, confirmed the matter with IANS on Saturday.

Ranju, a leader of the Kalaroa Government College unit of Chhatra Dal at the time, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the case, he said.

On August 30, 2002, Awami League chief Hasina, the then leader of the opposition, went to the Satkhira Central Hospital to visit the wife of a freedom fighter who had been raped.

Hasina’s motorcade was attacked in front of the Kalaroa Upazila BNP office while she was on her way back to Dhaka. Aside from the bomb attack and vandalism of cars, gunshots were also fired targeting Hasina.

Central leaders of the Awami League accompanying Hasina along with local activists and journalists were all injured in the attack.

Moslem Uddin, the then general secretary of the Kolaroa Awami League, had filed a case with the Kalaroa police station, but the police had denied the filing of any case against the ruling party member.

He then filed the case with the Satkhira judicial magistrate’s court in this connection, accusing the then BNP MP Habibul Islam Habib.

The court then ordered the Kolaroa police to investigate the matter. But the police submitted a report on December 25, 2003, claiming that the accusations cited in the case were not true.

Challenging the report, the plaintiff filed a no-confidence petition, which was dismissed by the court. Later, the plaintiff filed a revision petition with the high court.

On July 28, 2013, the Supreme Court passed an order directing the police to reconsider the case and conduct a fresh investigation into the matter.

In a follow-up to the order, the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Satkhira ordered the Kalaroa police to take action against those who attacked Hasina’s convoy.

The police subsequently pressed formal charges against 50 people, including Habib, following an investigation.

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