Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have detained a fugitive death row convict in a case filed over the attack on a train carrying the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in 1994.
Zakaria Pintu, 50, of Ishwardi, was detained from Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar on Saturday night in a drive conducted by a team of Rab-2, said a press release from Rab Headquarter on Sunday.
During primary interrogation, Pintu confessed that he was a fugitive accused of carrying out bomb attack on a train at Ishwardi railway station with the intention of killing the now Prime Minister.
Pintu was convicted in two murder case in Ishwardi in 1994 and in 2009. He was later arrested along with arms by law enforcers in 2011 and sentenced to 17 years in jail in an arms case.
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Apart from the death sentence and imprisonment, there are six arrest warrants and 19 cases filed against him over various crimes, including terrorist activities, establishing dominance and extortion.
In 2015, he also took part in a local election in Pabna's Ishwardi as an independent candidate and lost it.
On September 23 in 1994, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was travelling to Syedpur from Khulna in a train and was attacked with bombs and gunshots at Ishwardi Railway station, as per the release.
A case was filed under the Explosives Act and Special Powers Act at Ishwardi GRP Police Station in Pabna in this regard.
Later, the investigating officer of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted a chargesheet against a total of 52 people on April 3 in 1997, it added.
After long proceedings, nine accused, including Pintu, were sentenced to death while 25 to life imprisonment and 13 others to 10 years in prison on July 3, 2019.
He went into hiding soon after the sentence in the assassination attempt case was announced in 2019. He fled to India on the day following the judgment. After staying there for some days, he returned to the country and went into hiding in different parts of the country, including Dhaka, Rajshahi and Cox's Bazar.
He was last detained by RAB-2 while hiding at his friend's house in Teknaf of Cox's Bazar.
“Legal steps are underway against the detainee,” said the release.