August 15 is upon us again, a bleak reminder of that gruesome event in which the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most members of his family lost their lives. On this day, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members were brutally murdered by a handful of felonious army officers and their treacherous foot soldiers. It is a great tragedy for the Bangalee nation that we could not save a leader like him, who, if was allowed to rule for the next two decades, would have changed the course of history of the newly independent Bangladesh.
Every August, we lament the event, pray for the departed souls and smugly state how the goons who carried out this attack were brought to justice and sent to their deserved punishment. Those who killed Bangabandhu and his family members, today themselves have been thrown into the abyss of history. We express our heartiest gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the trial of Bangabandhu’s killers. It is sad but true that some of the killers are still evading justice and have remained at large.
According to sources, four among the six assassins of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who have been at large since they were sentenced to death, are yet to be found. The two other convicts have been located abroad, but negotiations to extradite them home to face the penalty have yet to bear fruit. Sources said that it is not easy for the present government to bring back the convicted fugitive killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the country as they are strongly placed in different countries.
Of the 12 convicts, five were hanged on Jan 28, 2010, one died of natural causes and six more are absconding. The six convicts still at large are Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, M Rashed Chowdhury, SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslemuddin. Interpol had issued a red notice against them. The National Central Bureau or NCB, the Bangladesh division of Interpol confirmed that Noor Chowdhury is currently residing in Canada, while M Rashed Chowdhury is in the US.
It is a great tragedy for us that we could
not save Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ,
who, if was allowed to rule for the next two decades,
would have changed the course of history of
the newly independent Bangladesh
Bangladesh's government has repeatedly asked the US to cancel Bangabandhu’s killer Rashid Chowdhury’s political asylum and extradite him. In last April, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged United States to extradite the killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Following the verdict in the Bangabandhu assassination case, five of the 12 killers — Syed Faruque Rahman, Sultan Shahariar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, Mohiuddin Ahmed and AKM Mohiuddin — were hanged on Jan 27, 2010. Another, Abdul Aziz Pasha, died in Zimbabwe in 2001.
The initial trial of the assassins of Bangabandhu and his family was stopped through an Indemnity Ordinance which saved the self-proclaimed killers. The ordinance was abrogated in November 1996 when the Awami League returned to power, paving the way to bringing the killers to justice. But the case proceedings came to a near halt after the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami coalition formed government took power in 2001. The Awami League returned to power in 2009 and restarted the trial.
It is infuriating for us as a nation that we have not been able to bring all the killers of the Father of the Nation and give them the punishment they deserve. It is high time to put forth our best to bring the killers back from abroad.
Bangabandhu not only gave us a nation but also injected into us the dream for a prosperous nation. He is an icon of national unity.
Throughout his life, Bangabandhu dreamt of a non-communal and democratic Bangladesh. On this day of mourning, we urge all the people of this country to work jointly to build a non-communal and exploitation-free democratic Bangladesh where people irrespective of creed and class will enjoy equal rights. It would not be possible to bring back the Father of the Nation, but by upholding the spirit of the Liberation War and ideals of Bangabandhu, we can show some respect to the person who gave us the nation. Echoing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina it is worth mentioning that Bangladesh’s debt to Bangabandhu will be repaid by transforming the fate of the people.
Sayeed Hossain Shuvro is Editorial Assistant, Bangladesh Post