Public Prosecutor Golam Sarwar Khan Zakir told Dhaka Tribune

Officials concerned say the trial is being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Six years have passed since the blast at Hussaini Dalan, which occurred right before the traditional Tazia procession marking Holy Ashura was brought out in 2015, but the trial is yet to be completed.

The trial in this case against 10 members of the banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is now pending with the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka as the recording of testimony by prosecution witnesses (PW) is yet to be completed in the case.

Sources at the court said a total of 23 out of 46 witnesses have so far testified in court in the case. On October 18, the 23rd witness made a deposition before the court. The court fixed November 15 for the next hearing.

Public Prosecutor Golam Sarwar Khan Zakir told Dhaka Tribune the trial was being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “We hope that the trial will be completed by next January as the recording of the deposition of witnesses in the case is now at the final stage.”

On May 31, 2017, the trial began through a framing of charges against the 10 members of the JMB in the much talked about case.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Defence Counsel Faruk Ahmed said: “The trial is stuck due to mistakes made by the investigating officer (IO) in the case. He submitted a charge sheet against two children along with the adult accused.”There have been allegations that the prosecution and other officials concerned are not giving proper attention to completing the case, which is why the trial in the case is being delayed.

According to the case, on October 23, 2015, two persons, including a schoolboy named Sanju, 15, were killed and over 100 others were injured when militants launched a terrible grenade attack at a crowd at the Hussaini Dalan premises.

During the attack, people from the Shia community were gathering near the building to bring out a traditional Tazia procession to mark the holy Ashura.

The day marks the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM), and the Shia community has been observing the day for centuries.

Later, Sub-inspector Jalal Uddin of Chawk Bazar Police Station filed the case under the anti-terrorism act over the incident.

DB Inspector Shafiuddin, the IO of the case, on October 18, 2016 submitted a charge sheet against the 10 accused in the cases.

Of the 10 accused, Kabir Hossain, Jahid Hasan, Rubel Islam, Abu Sayeed, Arman and Masud Rana are now in jail while Hafez Ahsan Ullah Masud, Shah Jalal, Omar Faruk Manik, and Chan Miah are free on bail.

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