From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2003:
DHAKA, Bangladesh –Five former Dhaka Zoo employees who
allegedly poisoned four Bengal tigers during a 1996 labor dispute
were on September 10, 2003 sentenced to serve 14 years in prison at
The Pakistan Daily Times heralded “The first-ever verdict on
the killing of animals in Bangladesh,” which from 1948 until 1971
was East Pakistan, separated from the rest of Pakistan by India.
Published from the capital of Bangladesh, the Dhaka Daily
Star did not call the case a first, but gave it prominent coverage
on a day when the second anniversary of the September 11, 2001 al
Qaida terrorist attacks on the U.S. dominated the news.
Metropolitan Sessions Judge Habibur Rahman acquitted nine
Rahman issued the stiff sentences to the remainder under the
Special Powers Act of 1974, pertaining to crimes allegedly committed
to destabilize the nation.
The tigers were allegedly poisoned between November 9 and 13,
1996, after zoo curator Ashraf Uddin transferred the defendants and
18 other staff members in a crackdown on corruption.
Invoking the Special Powers Act enabled Rahman to impose the
death penalty, but he was lenient, he said, because the “neglect
and indifference” of the prosecution had allowed the case to drag on
for seven years.