DHAKA: Bangladesh hanged Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rahman Nizami on Wednesday for genocide and other crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, the law minister said, a punishment that risked provoking an angry reaction from his supporters.
Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at Dhaka Central jail after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of top intellectuals during the war.
Nizami, 73, a former legislator and minister, was hanged at 12.01 a.m. local time, Law Minister Anisul Haq told Reuters.
Hundreds of people flooded the streets of the capital, Dhaka, to cheer the executions.
But the war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 has sparked violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, that it is victimising Hasina´s political opponents.
Thousands of extra police and border guards were deployed in Dhaka and other major cities. Previous similar judgments and executions have triggered violence that killed around 200 people, mainly Jamaat activists and police.
Five opposition politicians, including four Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, have been executed since late 2013 after being convicted by the tribunal.
The party denies that its leaders committed any atrocities.
International human rights groups say a climate of intolerance in Bangladeshi politics has both motivated and provided cover for perpetrators of crimes of religious hatred.
Courtesy : TheNews