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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Bangladesh death sentence in girl case
Bangladeshi children protesting acid attacks by rejected Romeos
Campaigners demand focus on attacks on Bangladeshi girls

A court in Bangladesh has handed down death sentences to three young men in connection with the murder of a school girl.


The act of these young men led to the innocent school girl's death, so they were guilty of murdering the girl

Judge Anwar Hossain

A trial court in Gaibandha district on Monday found them guilty of harassing the school girl, Trisha, and chasing her to a pond where she drowned.

The death of the 10-year-old girl in July triggered widespread public protest in Gaibandha, nearly 200 kilometres from the capital Dhaka.

Trisha was on her way home from school the day she drowned.

Her distraught parents said the three men often harassed Trisha.

Murder verdict

Trisha's parents said chased by the men, Trisha jumped into a pond, but the three men did nothing to save her.

Public outrage followed the tragic death and faced with angry protests, the government had to arrange a speedy trial.

There was heavy security around the court building in Gaibandha when District Judge Anwar Hossain announced his verdict on Monday.

He said: "The act of these young men led to the innocent school girl's death, so they were guilty of murdering the girl."

Trisha's mother Ambia Begum expressed satisfaction with the ruling and hoped the High Court, where death sentences are automatically appealed, would uphold it.

'Same procedures'

The disposal of the case took less than a month, a record in Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of criminal cases are awaiting trial in lower courts.

Though the people in Gaibandha were happy with the sentence and the speed with which justice had been dispensed, critics say the government forced the judiciary to deliver rough justice in the face of popular demand.

However, a former Chief Justice, Mostafa Kamal, dismissed the criticism.

He said a speedy trial did not mean that judges had compromised their neutrality.

He said the same procedures were followed in this trial as with any other case.

See also:

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