Two students were on Thursday awarded death penalty and six persons including outlawed Ansarullah Bangla Team chief received various jail terms by a Bangladesh court for killing secular blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, nearly three years after he was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka.
Special Trial Tribunal-3 Judge Sayeed Ahmed pronounced the verdict in presence of seven of the accused. One of the death row convict is on the run.
The judge sentenced former private university students Md Faisal Bin Nayem alias Dweep and absconding Redwanul Azad Rana to death. They were also fined 10,000 Taka each. Maksudul Hasan alias Anik was given life term with a fine of Taka 10,000.
Md Ehsan Reza alias Rumman, Nayem Sikdar alias Iraj and Nafis Imtiaz were given 10-year jail with Taka 5,000 fine each. Sadman Yasir Mahmud was given three years in prison and Taka 2,000 in fine, the Daily Star reported.
These students had vowed to kill "atheist bloggers", the investigation officer said in the charge sheet. They targeted Rajib "for his blog posts under the nick of Thabababa" and carried out the murder in two separate groups.
Mufti Jashimuddin Rahmani, the chief of banned militant outfit ABT, was given five years of jail and Taka 2,000 in fine with two months of additional imprisonment in default.
Haidar, also an activist of Shahbagh movement, was hacked to death on February 15, 2013 near his house at Mirpur. His body brutally mutilated.
He was the first of five bloggers killed so far.
Image: Secular blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider