Bangladesh hangs top Islamist leader for 1971 war massacre

  • PTI, Dhaka
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2015 23:07 IST

Top Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Quamaruzzaman was hanged on Saturday night for war crimes and mass killing during Bangladesh's 1971 independence war against Pakistan, days after he lost his final bid to overturn his death sentence.

He was hanged at 10.01pm local time, jail officials were quoted by local media reports as saying.

Quamaruzzaman, the third most influential leader in the Islamist party, was hanged late in the night after his execution was postponed at the last minute Friday.

Quamaruzzaman, 63, is the second Jamaat leader after Quader Mollah to be executed for 1971 war crimes.

He had decided not to seek presidential clemency after the review of his conviction was rejected on April 6 by a four-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.

Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in May 2013 sentenced Quamaruzzaman to death for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war.

He was found guilty of mass killing, murder, abduction, torture, rape, persecution and abetment of torture in central Mymensingh region. He was convicted for killing 164 people at a village in his home district in northern Sherpur.

The Supreme Court on November 3 last year upheld his death penalty. The apex court, however, issued the full text of the judgement on February 18 and sent it to the ICT, which immediately issued a death warrant.

The apex court called his crimes "worse than Nazis" when it upheld the judgement of the ICT.

About three million people were killed by the Pakistani army and their Bengali-speaking collaborators during the war.

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