JMB operative Arif executed

Asadul Islam alias Arif, an operative of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), was hanged to death tonight for murder of two Jhalakati judges in 2005.

Six other convicts in the case were executed earlier.

"Arif was hanged at 10.30 pm in Khulna District Jail," Deputy Commissioner of Khulna Nazmul Hasan, who witnessed the execution, told BSS.

DIG prison of Khulna division Tipu Sultan, Khulna District Jail's superintendent Kamrul Islam and Civil Surgeon Dr Abdur Razzak also witnessed the execution along with some other senior officials and law enforcement agencies.

Following the execution Kamrul Islam told journalists that the body of Arif would be handed over to his family members tonight for burial.

An intensified security vigil was enforced in and around the prison complex where extra policemen joined jail guards.

Authorities temporarily blocked adjacent thoroughfares for ordinary vehicles and pedestrians movements.

Earlier 12 family members including the wife of the death row convict saw him for the last time inside the prison as the preparedness was underway.

Authorities earlier on March 30, 2006 executed simultaneously six of the seven condemned militants - JMB's founder chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his deputy Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Khaled Saifullah, Abdul Awal, Ataur Rahman Suny and Iftekhar Hassan Mamun - at different jails.

They all faced the trial in person but the seventh convict, Arif, was on the run since the 2005 murder of two judges Sohel Ahmed and Jagannath Pare as part of the violent JMB campaign to establish what they said "Islamic rule" discarding the "tagudi" or devilish law.

Law enforcement agencies arrested him from Mymensingh on July 10, 2007.

The outfit made visible their strong existence in the country staging near simultaneous blasts in 63 of the 64 districts on August 17, 2005 when only two people were killed as JMB at at that visibly preferred not to use the splinters in their homemade time devices.

Additional District and Sessions Judge of Jhalkhathi Tarique Ahmed Reza on May 29, 2006 had sentenced the seven JMB leaders to death on charges of the judges murders.

The JMB assailants killed the judges while they were going to the court in a microbus.

According to prison officials Khulna Jail staged its last execution on May 10 in 2004 exposing notorious gangster Ershad Shikder.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)