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Bangladesh court sentences 26 to death in murder case

IANS | Dhaka |

A Bangladeshi court on Monday sentenced 26 persons to death in a sensational seven-murder case in Narayanganj area of the country in 2014.

Those given the death penalty included former Narayanganj councillor Nur Hossain who was extradited from Kolkata, and former Bangladesh Army Lt Col Tarek Sayeed for abducting and killing seven persons in April 2014, Dhaka Tribune reported.

At least nine others have been given various jail terms.

The bodies of those killed, including that of former city Councillor Nazrul Islam and senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar, were found floating in a river several days later.

The court said all the 35 persons, of whom 19 were from the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), were guilty of the murders. Twelve of the convicts are absconding.

The families of the victims said they were satisfied with the verdict.

"We want the verdict to be implemented as soon as possible and hope the high court upholds it," Nazrul's wife Selina Islam Beauty told the media.

Chandan's daughter Sushmita Sarkar said: "We want quick execution."

Counsel Shakhawat Hossain, who represented Chandan's family, said he was happy with the verdict, but wanted all the 35 to get the death penalty.

However, the defence counsel said they will challenge the verdict in the high court.

According to Law Minister Anisul Huq, the verdict indicates that criminals, irrespective of their identity, will not be spared.

Huq welcomed the verdict and dubbed it a "proper" one. "The people will be satisfied with it."

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal lauded the RAB for playing "a responsible role" in the investigation.