Bangladesh hangs Islamist hardliner Abdul Quader Molla for war crimes
Butcher of Mirpur — Bangladesh on Thursday executed Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla, convicted of atrocities in 1971 war of independence.
Zee Media Bureau
Dhaka: Bangladesh on Thursday executed Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla, convicted of atrocities in 1971 war of independence.
Mollah was hanged at 10.01 pm (local time) in Dhaka Central Jail.
Molla is the first war crimes convict to be sent to the gallows since the country`s independence in 1971.
The decision to execute him was upheld by the Bangladesh Supreme Court on Thursday, two days after his hanging was dramatically put on hold in a last-minute reprieve.
For his atrocities and for siding with Pakistani troops during the 1971 war, 65-year-old Molla was dubbed the "Butcher of Mirpur", after a Dhaka suburb where he led the infamous Al-Badr militia in slaughtering a large number of people, including women and children.
A death warrant was issued for Molla, who being held at the high security Dhaka Central Jail, on Tuesday but the apex court put off the execution so that his petition challenging the death sentence could be heard.
The apex court earlier today rejected Molla`s petition. "(The review petition is) not maintainable," Chief Justice Muzammel Hossain told a packed courtroom after two days of arguments on the maintainability of the plea.
Molla`s family met him for the second time since Tuesday inside the jail. Witnesses said Molla`s two sons, four daughters and wife entered the jail at 6:25 pm and came out half an hour later.
Paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police enforced a tight vigil, mobilising riot cars and armoured personnel carriers around the prison in Old Dhaka.
Molla, the assistant secretary-general of the Jamaat and the fourth-highest leader of the party, was the first politician to be found guilty of war crimes by the Supreme Court after it rejected an appeal to acquit him.
Jail officials earlier in the day said Molla refused to seek presidential clemency under a constitutional provision when they asked him whether he wants to request the president to pardon him, media reports said.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters, "The government has fulfilled its obligation by sending executive magistrate twice to ask him if he seeks presidential mercy."
The Awami League-led government began conducting the war crimes trials in keeping with a pledge made during the 2008 election.