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12th serial blasts anniversary recalled vowing to eliminate militancy

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DHAKA, Aug 17, 2017 (BSS) - The nation with heavy hearts recalled today the countrywide simultaneous bomb attacks carried out by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) 12 years ago with a renewed call of stamping out militancy from the country.

On this day in 2017, two persons were killed and over 50 people wounded as the outfit carried out the bomb attacks at around 500 points in 63 districts except Munshiganj.

The 12th anniversary of the incident came when a massive anti-militancy security clampdown is underway across the country.

Different socio-cultural organizations and political parties observed the day in a befitting manner with a renewed call to stamp out militancy from the country.

The ruling Awami League (AL) observed the day as anti-terrorism and anti-militancy day through different programmes today including holding a discussion.

Police said 159 cases were lodged at different parts of the country to this end. Police submitted charge sheets in 149 cases against 1106 JMB men while final reports in 10 other cases have submitted.

Trial in 93 cases has already been completed in which 334 people have been sentenced with different jail terms while trial in 56 cases against 400 JMB operatives is going on.

Twenty seven accused in the serial blast have already been handed down with death penalty and eight of them have already been hanged. A total of 349 accused in the serial blast have already been acquitted of the charges.

Of 159 cases, 18 were filed in Dhaka city while trial in four of the cases has already been disposed of with sentencing 37 people with different jail terms. Five of the cases filed in Dhaka city are under trail while final reports in nine other cases have already been submitted before the court.

Asked about the progress in the investigation in the serial blast cases, Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Haque told BSS today that a total of 159 cases were filed to this end. Trials in 93 cases were completed in which 334 JMB operatives were sentenced with different jail terms while final reports in 10 cases were submitted.

"The rest of the cases against 400 operatives of the JMB are now under trial," he said, adding that 349 charge sheeted accused were acquitted of the charges."

"A total of 27 operatives accused in the August 17, 2005 bombing have already been handed down death penalty in other militant cases and eight of them were hanged," he added.

Referring to execution of JMB's top six leaders in 2007, including its supremo, Shaikh Abdur Rahman, the police chief said, "JMB's organizational activities suffered a huge setback with the execution of their death sentences. But Tamim Chowdhury started reorganizing it after his return to the country from Canada in 2013 under the banner of neo-JMB. But the law enforcers have successfully contained them."

The six -- Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his- second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny, think-tank Abdul Awal, Khaled Saifullah and Salahuddin -- were hanged on March 30 in 2007 in the case for the killing of two judges in Jhalokathi district.

Replying to a query about the trial of serial blast cases in Dhaka city, public prosecutor Advocate Abdullah Abu of Dhaka Metropolitan told BSS today that a total of 18 cases were lodged with different police stations at different parts of the capital city. Trial in four cases has already been completed and five more cases are under trial, he added.

"Thirty seven JMB operatives were sentenced with different jail terms including 10 years rigorous imprisonment in the four cases, he said, adding that final reports in nine other cases were submitted.