2 death-row convicts in Avijit murder case hiding abroad’

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We’re looking into their current whereabouts,’ says the minister

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Tuesday said sacked army major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque and Akram Hossain alias Abir, two death-row convicts in blogger Avijit Roy killing case, are hiding in another country.

“We’re looking for the whereabouts of Ziaul and Akram and we’ve information that they went into hiding in another country,” he said.

The home minister came up with the remark a day after the US announced a reward of up to $5 million for information on the attack against Avijit and his wife Rafida Ahmed Banya.

He was talking to reporters at a program after inaugurating a sculptor of a freedom fighter at Harirampur Upazila Parishad premises in Manikganj.
A fair investigation into the Avijit murder was conducted and a group of militants of the banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team took part in the killing mission. Militants were active in the country during this period but they failed to continue it due to the proactive role of the law enforcement agencies,” he said.

The US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, through its Rewards for Justice (RFJ) office, offered the reward for information on the attack on Avijit and Banya.

The US secretary of state has authorized the reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of anyone involved in the murder of Avijit and the attack on Banya, according to the US Department of State.

On the evening of February 26, 2015, writer and founder of Mukto Mona blog Avijit Roy, son of late physicist Ajoy Roy, was hacked to death, but Banya escaped with serious
injuries after unidentified assailants attacked them with sharp weapons near TSC intersection on the Dhaka University campus as they were returning home from the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela.

Avijit’s late father filed a murder case at Shahbagh Police Station the next day.

On February 16, a tribunal in Dhaka sentenced five members of banned militant outfit Ansar-Al-Islam to death and another to life term imprisonment in the murder case.

The condemned convicts were Ziaul Haque, a suspected coordinator of Ansar-Al-Islam, Akram, Mozammel Hossain alias Saimon, Abu Siddiq Sohel alias Sakib alias Sajid alias Shahab, Md Arafat Rahman. Each of them was also fined Tk50,000.

The tribunal also sentenced Shafiur Rahman Farabi to life imprisonment. It also fined him Tk50,000 and failure to pay would add two more years in prison to his sentence.

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