Things that make you to Think
The Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman’s decision to pardon AHM Biplob, indicted for the murder of Advocate Nurul Islam, has generated negative reaction all over the country. The clemency order came into effect on14 July 2011. Advocate Nurul Islam, the then organising secretary of Lakshmipur BNP, was abducted and murdered in September 2000 by Biplob, son of AL leader Abu Taher of Lakshmipur. Biplob was sentenced to death for the infamous murder.
The President also pardoned 20 death row inmates on 6 September last year who were convicted of Jubo Dal leader Sabbir Ahmed Gama’s murder. That too stirred mixed response among people. Gama was the nephew of former BNP deputy minister Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu; he was shot at Natore in 2004. All the convicts that received clemency from the President happen to be associated with Awami League.
The general response to the President’s decision to forgive these convicted murderers has been negative. Biplob’s case in particular generated mass concern. People are now under the impression that criminals who have connection to AL will be protected by the party, even when they are notorious murderers.
People form different walks of the society expressed concern and questioned the justification of the clemency. They all wonder how a murderer like Biplob could be forgiven when he was given life sentence for two other cases of murder.
Dr Enamul Haq Khan, professor at the History Department of Jahangirnagar University, says, “The President has a right to grant mercy to a criminal. But it should be done with proper judgement. Clemency should not be granted if there is even a slight chance that more crimes might be committed by the person seeking forgiveness. “At the same time, it should not be politically biased as everyone is equal under the law and justice system. We hardly see general people granted mercy. If it becomes political, then the entire law and justice system will collapse very soon,” he adds. Jahid Miah, a businessman, says, “If the President let murderers go free like this, it might encourage others. Murderers should be hanged irrespective of their affiliation to any party!”
Sakhawat Hossain, a university student, says, “If criminals are pardoned only because of their political affiliation, then all the political leaders and activists will grow in confidence to completely ignore the law. General people will be deprived from fair trial. The government should ensure that people get proper access to law and justice.”
“Actually, we do not live in a true democracy. The general people are captives to these so-called democratic leaders that save their party men, who cause sufferings and miseries to the general people,” said Faisal Ahmed, a service holder, sharing his frustration.
Kamal, a student from Jahangirnagar University, says, “Personally, I would never be able to accept it if my father’s killer were shown mercy. As a daughter, Sheikh Hasina also will not grant mercy to her father’s killers.
I think no child can show mercy to his or her parent’s murderer. “How are Nurul Islam’s children going to cope with the fact that Biplob is getting away with killing their father?” he asked.