Two judges were killed and three people injured in a bomb attack at Purba Chandkathi in Jhalakatthi district town Monday morning, report agencies.
The deceased were identified as Sohel Ahmed (32), senior assistant Judge of Nalchhiti Upazila, and Jagannath Pandey (35), senior assistant Judge of Sadar upazila of the district.
Local sources said a young man threw the bomb towards a microbus, carrying the two judges, at about 9.0 am as soon as the vehicle stopped in front of the government staff quarters to pick up assistant judge M Awal of the District Judge Court, killing Sohel Ahmed on the spot.
Seriously injured Jagannath Pandey died on way to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH).
Law Minister Moudud Ahmed and State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar were manhandled when they went to the house of Jagannath Pandey's in-law.
Witnesses said that the two along with IG of police Abdul Kaiyum, DG of RAB M Aziz Sarkar and some lawmakers from the southern region went to the residence of Jagannath Pandey's in-law at the Fishery Crossing in the city to express their condolences.
The wife of the slain judge, Reeta Pandey, her father Mukul Mukherjee and other family members got agitated seeing them. At that time, suddenly someone from the gathering started beating the law minister with a belt. Babar was also pushed out of the house.
The bereaved family members hurled 'undignifying' language to them saying: Why you are here when you do not have the capacity to provide security to a judge?
The IGP said, "We are thinking to provide all the judges with gunmen."
He ordered the concerned officials to shift the bomb explosion cases in Jhalakati to the speedy trial tribunal.
Judges of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court and Judge Court abstained from all judicial functioning on the day protesting the killing.
Bangladesh Judicial Services Association (BJSA) at an emergency meeting called for a workstoppage by the judges Monday across the country.
The BJSA meeting held at the conference room of the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court also submitted a charter of demand to the government and threatened to boycott courts unless their demands are met by November 21.
Judges of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court and Sessions Judge Court refrained from all judicial work while the lawyers of Dhaka Ainjibi Samity staged a rowdy demonstration on the court premises.
Supreme Court Bar Association held an emergency meeting at the High Court in the afternoon to discuss the situation.
The judges and lawyers in Chittagong Monday abstained from court proceedings protesting the killing of two senior assistant judges at Jhalakati.
The lawyers of the country Monday boycotted the courts, including the Supreme Court, protesting the killing.
All the judges of Dhaka District Judgeship Monday decided to abstain from judicial function November 15-16 in protest against the killing.
The lawyers will also boycott the courts, wear black badges and hoist black flags at the bars across the country on November 17 in protest against the killing.
Meanwhile, Mamun arrested in connection with the bomb attack claimed himself as member of banned Islamic outfit Jaamat-ul Mujaheedin (JMB).
Undergoing treatment at Barisal Medical College Hospital Mamun told newsmen that he was a member of JMB and a follower of Shaikh Abdur Rahman.
Mamun was arrested after police found a live bomb and a leaflet of JMB in his possession.
Mamun, who hailed from Rajshahi, is the son of a security guard of Rajshahi University. He studied up to class IX at Rajshahi Masjid Mission Academy.
Arrested Mamun said he went to Jhalakati from Rajshahi on instruction from one Sumon 12 days ago and took shelter at Krishnakati village of the district.
He said that he was trained in using and detonating bombs for 10 days under one Karim, who ordered Mamun to throw bombs at the judges.
He said that he had earlier attempted to explode bombs twice during the past few days.
Mamun further said he was left near the judges' homes by Karim in the morning and was directed to hurl the bombs as soon as the judges come out of their residences at 9.0 am.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of two judges in a bomb attack in Jhalakathi.