Osman Gani, who owns the ‘Agami’ publishing house, was the second state witness in the fourth Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court. According to him, four books of Humayun Azad were published and released in the 2004 Ekushey Book Fair including ‘Pak Sar Jamin Sad Bad’.
Gani said he received the first death threat through a letter in 2004. “Later in 2005, they called me on telephone to say that those who killed Humayun Azad will kill me.”
According to him, ‘radicals’ were threatening him since the novel was serialized in the daily Ittefaq.
Gani expressed his angst over the ‘slow’ progress of the Azad murder case.
Agami publishing house has published most of Humayun Azad’s works.
Gani said Humayun Azad was hacked to death on a Friday when he was heading home from a chat session (adda) at the book fair. “He (Humayun Azad) tried to defend himself with the books he had in hand.”
The author was shifted for better medical attention to Bangkok but came back to Bangladesh a year later.
Gani said Humayun Azad went to Germany on invitation from PEN International to research on poet Heinrich Heine, where he was found dead in his apartment in Munich on the seventh day of his arrival.
Humayun Azad during his stay in the Combined Military Hospital had told journalists to ask Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee about who had tried to kill him.
The case’s Investigation officer, CID’s Fazlul Karim could not interrogate Sayedee, as he was a member of the parliament at that time.
“Humayun Azad had told officer also to check with Sayadee on his possible assailants,” Gani said.
The defense had no questions for Osman Gani after his testimony.
On the same day, a former student of Salimulla Hall of Dhaka University HM Shafiqul Islam, who had donated blood to ailing Humayun Azad also testified in court.
Justice AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan set Feb 17 for the next hearing.
On Jan 1, Humayun Azad’s brother Manjur Kabir had testified at court.
The court framed charges against five accused on Sep 10 last year.
The criminal investigation department of police had filed a supplementary charge sheet on May 13 last year, dropping Delwar Hossain Sayedee from the list citing inadequate evidence.
The five accused in the case are Mohammad Mizanur Rahman Minhaj aka Shafique aka Shawon aka Hamim aka Hashim, Anwarul Alam aka Bhagne Shahid, Nur Mohammad Shamim aka JM Mobin aka Sabu, Salehin aka Salauddin aka Shajib aka Taohid and Hafez Mahmud aka Rakib aka Russel.
Nur Mohammad has been absconding.
The accused are leaders of banned Islamist outfit Jamat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB).