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Bangladesh hangs Islamist leader for 1971 atrocities

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DHAKA — Bangladesh has executed a top Islamist leader for crimes committed during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971, the law minister said, a punishment that risked provoking an angry reaction from his supporters.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, 73, a former lawmaker and minister, was hanged at 12.01am local time at Dhaka Central jail at one minute past midnight local time on Wednesday.

Nizami was hanged after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of top intellectuals during the war. He had refused to seek presidential clemency.

Nizami led Bangladesh’s biggest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami. Previous executions of party leaders have sparked violent protests.

He was convicted of genocide, rape and torture; charges the defence said were not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

About 3 million people were killed, the government says, and thousands of women were raped during the 1971 war in which some factions, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, opposed the break from what was then called West Pakistan. The party denies that its leaders committed any atrocities

Thousands of extra police and border guards were deployed in the capital Dhaka and other major cities to tighten security as Jamaat-e-Islami called for a nationwide strike on Thursday in protest of the execution.

Security was tightened across the country ahead of the execution. Supporters of Nizami protested outside Dhaka’s Central prison, where the sentence was carried out.

Nizami was the fourth leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party to have been executed since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up a war crimes tribunal to look into abuses during the independence war.

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Mid-Hill highway opens door of prosperity: Minister Adhikari

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GALKOT- Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has said that the Mid-Hill highway had opened the door of prosperity.

He added that the highway was easing the transportation service of the hilly people.

Inaugurating the Badigad Festival and Nwagi Fair-2075 BS here in Baglung district on Saturday, Minister Adhikari stressed on preserving and promoting the domestic cultures to strengthen the nationality and create harmony among the people.

The festival organizer committee coordinator Tika Paija shared that the festival was organized to preserve domestic culture and promote local tourism.
The festival will run until November 25.

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