Zahid Hossain Biplob
To bring back Lt Col (retd) SHMB Nur Chowdhury, a convicted fugitive killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh has recently lodged a case with the Canadian Federal court.
The Canadian government had decided to deport the convicted fugitive killer of Bangabandhu to Bangladesh over a decade back.
According to Foreign Ministry sources, the Canadian government returned Noor Chowdhury’s diplomatic passport to the Bangladesh embassy in Ottawa in 2006. They also expressed interest in returning Noor Chowdhury to Bangladesh.
Canada’s Immigration Court and Supreme Court had initially rejected Noor Chowdhury’s application for political asylum and wanted to send him back, but the then BNP government let the opportunity go by. Canada even sent a letter in this regard to the Bangladesh government in 2006. But because of the BNP government’s lack of interest in the matter, Noor Chowdhury was able to take advantage of Canada’s pre-removal risk assessment clause to remain in Canada.
Law minister Anisul Huq, who is chief of the task force to extradite Bangabandhu’s murderers, said, “We lost that opportunity. We could have gotten him back by now. But they (the BNP) showed no interest to do so.”
Law ministry sources said that if the Canadian court rejects his appeal, there will be no bar in bringing him back.
But Noor Chowdhury appealed to Canada’s attorney general’s office in mid-2007 to prevent his extradition to Bangladesh. “Nur Chowdhury stated in his appeal that he was convicted in the Bangabandhu murder case and if he is deported to Bangladesh, he would be executed,” he said.
Noor is currently residing in Canada under the protection of the ‘pre-removal risk assessment’ law, said the sources.
However, the Canada attorney general’s office has yet to rule on his petition.
According to Canadian law, victims of death sentences are not returned to their home countries.
Asked whether the government will make any extradition treaty with Libya and Pakistan where some of the convicts are hiding, the source said the foreign ministry will deal with this matter.
Nur Chowdhury is one of the 12 convicted killers of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
For the brutal killing of Bangabandhu along with most of his family members and relatives, including women and minors, the trial court awarded Nur death sentence in 1998. The High Court also upheld the judgement in 2001 that was also upheld by the Supreme Court on November 19.
It has been evident in the HC verdict that Nur Chowdhury and Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda were among those who shot the then president Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his Dhanmondi residence on August 15, 1975.