Fugitive Convict Sentenced To Death For Attack On Hasina Arrested

Dhaka: Zakaria Pintu, who was sentenced to death over an armed attack on a train carrying incumbent Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Pabna 25 years ago, has been arrested.

Zakaria, a former general secretary of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) Ishwardi unit, was arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar, ASP ANM Imran Khan said on Sunday.

Hasina, the then opposition leader, was conducting a nationwide campaign by rail when her coach came under attack upon arriving in Pabna’s Ishwardi on September 23, 1994.

But the Awami League chief managed to survive the assault carried out during her BNP counterpart Khaleda Zia’s first term as Prime Minister.

The railway police, as plaintiff, later initiated a case against 135 people in connection with the attack.

Pintu has been convicted of several crimes, including possession of illegal arms, over his involvement in the 1994 shooting, Imran said, adding that further details on the matter will be revealed at a media briefing later in the day.

Eight others were handed the death penalty in the attempt to murder case while 25 were jailed for life.

The investigation hit a snag during the BNP’s rule but picked up speed once the Awami League formed the government for the first time in 1996.

Police later pressed charges against 52 people, including Pintu and Moklesur Rahman Bablu, former mayor of Ishwardi Municipality.