National, Front Page

Prof Taher murder case

SC upholds death penalty for RU teacher, 1 other

Published : 06 Apr 2022 12:07 AM | Updated : 06 Apr 2022 01:16 PM

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has upheld the High Court verdict that confirmed the death penalty for two convicts and awarded two others life-term imprisonment for killing Rajshahi University (RU) Professor Dr S Taher Ahmed in 2006.

The condemned convicts are RU Associate Professor Dr Mia Md Mohiuddin and Prof Taher’s residence caretaker Jahangir Alam while the lifers are Nazmul Alam and his brother-in-law Abdus Salam.

A six-member full bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, delivered the judgement on Tuesday (April 5) after dismissing the appeals filed by the convicts challenging the HC verdict.

Senior lawyer of the Supreme Court Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Supreme Court’s lawyers SM Shahjahan and Imran appeared for the convicts during hearing of the appeals, while Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and Deputy Attorney General Bishwajit Debnath represented the state. 

Deceased Prof Taher’s daughter Shagufta Tabassum expressed satisfaction at the apex court verdict. “My family members are satisfied with the Appellate Division verdict. We will be happy when the verdict will be executed,” she said.

Shagufta Tabassum, who is a lawyer by profession, however, said that the convicts now have scope to seek review of the SC verdict. If they file review petition, the execution of the death sentences of two death-row convicts may be stayed till disposal of the petition, she added.

The High Court in its verdict on April 21 in 2013 confirmed the death sentence of the then RU teacher Dr Mia Mohammad Mohiuddin and caretaker at Taher's residence Jahangir Alam for their involvement in the gruesome murder of Prof Taher.

The HC, however, commuted the death sentence of two other convicts to life term imprisonment. These two convicts are Jahangir Alam’s brother Abdus Salam and brother-in-law Nazmul.

Dr S Taher Ahmed, a 59-year-old professor of Geology and Mining Department of Rajshahi University, was killed on February 1 in 2006. Police recovered his body from a septic tank well behind his residence on the university campus on February 3 the same year.

His son Sanjid Alvi Ahmed filed a murder case against some unidentified persons with Motihar police station of Rajshahi. Later,  police submitted a charge-sheet accusing six people.

On May 22 in 2008, a speedy trial court in Rajshahi sentenced four people to death and acquitted two others. The High Court later upheld the death sentence of two accused and sentenced the other two to life imprisonment.

The two acquitted accused in the murder case of Prof Taher are the-then president of Rajshahi University unit of Islami Chhatrashibir Mahbubul Alam Salehi and Azimuddin Munshi.

On February 22 this year, the apex court started hearing on the appeals filed by the convicts challenging the HC verdict on them in the case.

Meanwhile, the state has filed a separate appeal with the apex court seeking capital death penalty for all the convicts.