Protest marks funeral of war criminal Azam in Bangladesh

Protest marks funeral of war criminal Azam in Bangladesh

first_imgFive handmade bombs exploded near the Baitul Mokarram National Mosque ahead of the arrival of Azam’s body at the mosque for funeral prayer on Saturday, but no casualty was reported, police said.‘The janaza of a war criminal can never be held at the national mosque,’ Ziaul Hasan, chairman of Bangladesh Sommilito Islami Jote, an alliance of progressive Islamic parties, said at a human chain near the mosque.92-year-old Azam, who was sentenced to 90 years in jail for masterminding atrocities during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan, died on Thursday at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital in the capital Dhaka after suffering a stroke. He was also suffering from old age ailments including heart and kidney disorders. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenHe was buried at the family graveyard in the capital. He was kept at the hospital’s prison cell since his arrest three years ago for 1971 war crimes. He was also suffering from old-age ailments including heart and kidney disorders. Last year Azam, the ideological linchpin of Jamaat, was sentenced to 90 years in jail after being found guilty of charges relating to 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. Azam, who has left deep emotional scars in the collective national psyche by engineering war-time atrocities in 1971, was found guilty of all five categories of crime — conspiracy, planning, incitement, complicity and murder. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanHis conviction sparked deadly protests by Jamaat and widespread celebration amongst secular groups. Azam, however, declined to have committed any crime in 1971 and refused to regret. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan also held funeral prayers in different parts of the country, mourning the death of Azam, local media reported.Earlier, Azam’s last wish before his death had sparked controversy as he wanted his funeral prayers to be led by one of the two fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami leaders also convicted for atrocities during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.‘He wished to be buried at family graveyard at Moghbazar in Dhaka and have his funeral prayers led by (Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and war crime convicts) Delwar Hossain Sayedee or Matiur Rahman Nizami,’ Azam’s counsel said on Saturday. Azam’s elder son and sacked army brigadier  endorsed the comment saying his father expressed his last wish that his funeral prayers should be administered by either or the two fellow convicts.last_img

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