Spl tribunal to try Khaleda, allies likely: PM09 July 2015 bdnews24.com
A tribunal will be formed to try BNP chief Khaleda Zia and her associates for 'instigating' firebombings during the BNP-led alliance's agitations earlier this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.
"The government has plans to set up an Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal under the Anti Terrorism Act 2009 to try cases of violence against Khaleda Zia and her allies," she told Parliament on Wednesday.
The prime minister and her party, the ruling Awami League, have blamed the BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami for unleashing a wave of violence earlier this year during the three-month-long transport blockade.
Over 100 civilians were killed in the violence, mostly burnt to death by petrol bombs lobbed at buses and other transports. Many others were maimed, paralysed or disfigured for life in the bombings. Replying to a query by MP Selina Begum, the leader of the House said the Jun 2 firebombing on a bus in Comilla had been also included to try under the planned new tribunal.
Hasina told Parliament that a total of 134 people died since Jan 5 this year in attacks 'instigated' by Khaleda. "During the BNP-Jamaat alliance's so-called agitation, 1,395 vehicles were attacked while trains were attacked 13 times and launches six times," said Hasina. In the three months from January during the BNP-led alliance's blockade, vehicles were attacked almost every day throughout Bangladesh. On Feb 15, the High Court ordered the government to take steps to stop violent activities in the name of general strikes and blockades.
Law Minister Anisul Huq had then told reporters that they were forming a special anti-terrorism tribunal. In 2008, the military-backed caretaker government introduced the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance, which was turned into an Act in 2009 by the Awami League-led Grand Alliance government.
In 2013, the Act was amended before the 2014 elections in which the Awami League came in power for a straight second term. But until now, there has been no initiative to set up a separate tribunal in line with Section 26 of the 2009 Act, which also has provisions to try the instigators of terrorist activities. Khaleda has been accused of instigating attacks in at least four cases of violence out of the hundreds filed in those incidents of attacks.