Saturday January 18, 2020

Bangladesh set to execute 1971 War criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem

Quasem had spent a huge sum of money to appoint a US lobbyist to make the war crimes trials controversial

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Old Dhaka Central Jail (representational Image). Image source: Wikimedia

Dhaka, September 3, 2016: As Bangladesh jail authorities prepare to execute war criminal Mir Quasem Ali and his family has been asked to meet him for one last time at the Kashimpur Central Jail on Saturday.

The family has come to terms with the execution of Quasem, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader and one of the financiers of the fundamentalist party. Quasem on Friday refused his last lifeline — presidential clemency.

In a Facebook post, Quasem’s daughter Sumaiya Rabeya said her father was a soft-hearted person who would cry every time he made a speech. She said the family was going to meet him, probably for the last time, and had come to terms with his impending execution. This would only make him a martyr, something that he had struggled for during his entire life, said Quasem’s daughter Sumaiya, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

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Quasem’s wife Khandaker Ayesha Khatun has been asked by the prison authorities to meet her husband on Saturday late afternoon.

The execution of death sentence now awaits the government’s clearance. No official announcement was made until Saturday morning about it.

Rayerbazar killing field photographed immediately after the war, showing dead bodies of intellectuals (image courtesy: Rashid Talukdar, 1971). Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Rayerbazar killing field photographed immediately after the war, showing dead bodies of intellectuals (image courtesy: Rashid Talukdar, 1971). Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The jail Superintendent Prashanta Kumar Banik told bdnews24.com on Friday night, “The jail authorities are always ready to carry out the government’s order. The hanging will be executed once clear instructions are received from the top.”

Quasem, 63-year-old Jamaat-e-Islami leader and business tycoon whose atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War in Chittagong earned him the nickname ‘Bangali Khan’, can be executed any time.

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On Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court upheld his death penalty for war crimes, Quasem had sought time to decide his next course of action.

He was sentenced to death in 2014 by the country’s specially constituted International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), for the atrocities he committed during the 1971 Liberation War as an Al-Badr commander.

His last review petition was rejected by the Appellate Division of the apex court on Tuesday.

Quasem had spent a huge sum of money to appoint a US lobbyist to make the war crimes trials controversial. (IANS)

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Cinema Has the Power to Bring Social Change: Vikrant Massey

Cinema is instrumental in shaping society, says bollywood actor Vikrant Massey

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Vikrant Massey
Vikrant Massey says with every new project he tries to be a part of important stories. Wikimedia Commons

With four films in the pipeline, and his latest film “Chhapaak” having released on Friday, actor Vikrant Massey says with every new project he tries to be a part of important stories because cinema has the power to bring social change.

Although no film glorifies crime — particularly crime against women — we have seen a rise in such misdemeanours lately. The question arises if cinema impacts the minds of the audience, why has it failed to change the mindset of the youth who commit such crime?

“Cinema has always been instrumental in shaping society, not just in India but all over the world. Even in the West, cinema played a huge part in ushering revolution and initiating conversations among people. When I say revolution, I am not saying that after watching films people will take to the streets and start chanting slogans. The very idea of taking up a topic can lead to a revolution, and cinema has the power to do so,” Vikrant told IANS.

Vikrant Massey
“When it comes to crime, it is happening because individuals are committing crime, so the change has to start from within,” says Vikrant Massey. Wikimedia Commons

“Having said that, I know that the crime rate is high and I do not have a solution as an actor. I do think people these days are ridden with angst. For example, when I drive I just see a certain rage on the roads — people honk even if they see the signal. People don’t think twice before using abusive word,” added the actor.

Vikrant’s latest film is based on the life of acid attack victim, Laxmi Agarwal. The film highlights acid violence.

“When it comes to crime, it is happening because individuals are committing crime, so the change has to start from within,” he pointed out.

Starting his career on TV with the show “Kahaan Hoon Main” in 2004, Vikrant worked on the small screen until 2014 in “Ajab Gajab Ghar Jamai”. He then shifted gear to Bollywood.

Also Read- Mardaani 2 a Risky Movie to Make;, Says Rani Mukerji

“I left television consciously after 10 years because I wanted to give myself a chance to step into the world of cinema. I want every role of mine in films to be different. I have given myself 10 years in cinema to achieve more than what I did in TV. It has been six years in Bollywood and I have four more years to go,” shared Vikrant.

Vikrant’s new crop of films include “Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi”, “Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare”, “Cargo”, “Ginny Weds Sunny” and “Haseen Dilruba”. (IANS)