DHAKA: Fourteen people have been sentenced to death in Bangladesh for plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid 20 years ago.

A Bangladeshi court has sentenced 14 Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami activists to death for plotting to assassinate the prime minister in 2000, according to the International News Agency.

Those convicted include two brothers and a relative of Mufti Abdul Hanan, the former emir of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami. Mufti Al-Hanan was also hanged in 2017 along with two others. Mufti Hanan was said to have received military training from Afghanistan.
Nine of the 14 accused were present in the court while five are still absconding. They are accused of planting two bombs at a college where Prime Minister Hasina Wajid was coming to address a rally in 2000, but security forces defused the bombs.

During the investigation, police found that the bombs had been planted by the militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, which was outraged by the prime minister’s liberal policies. 14 accused were named in the case.

Since the case, security forces have also carried out crackdown operations against Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, in which more than 100 people have been extrajudicially killed and more than 1,000 are in custody.

It should be noted that during the rule of Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh, between 2013 and 2016, five leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami were hanged in 1971 for war crimes, while the entire opposition leadership is currently in jail.