Dhaka, Aug 23 (UNB) – Bangladesh expects the United States and Canada to make a “difference” by sending back self-confessed killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and help execute the court verdict establishing the rule of law in the country.
“We’re still hopeful,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday explaining the legal complications regarding the matter.
Of the six fugitive killers, Maj (retd) Noor Chowdhury is living in Canada while Maj (retd) Rashed Chowdhury in the USA. The other four fugitive killers are Col (dismissed) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (relieved) Shariful Haque Dalim, Capt Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslehuddin Khan.
During a discussion titled “15 August and Its Impact on Bangladesh” at Bangabandhu Memorial Trust auditorium, the Foreign Minister said the diplomatic efforts will continue to get the two killers back before the celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary.
Former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin, international affairs sub-committee chairman and former Ambassador Mohammad Zamir; and international affairs secretary Dr Shammi Ahmed, among others, spoke at the programme.
Farashuddin, who also served as the personal secretary to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from 1973 to 1975, presented a keynote paper.
Abdur Rahman Rama, who was working at Bangabandhu’s house, narrated the witnessed account of that horrific night.
They, along with the Foreign Minister and diplomats, paid tributes to Bangabandhu and his family members placing wreath on the portrait of Bangabandhu there.
“I spoke to US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and our Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) has sent a letter to President Donald Trump on the issue. We’re hoping to have a positive outcome,” he said adding that the USA has not made any decision yet.
The Foreign Minister also met the US Secretary of State in Bangkok recently. “We’re hoping that the USA will make a decision.”
He said they shall be very pleased if the USA sends that killer, as they believe in the rule of law, before the birth centenary celebration of Bangabandhu.
Regarding Noor Chowdhury, the Foreign Minister said Canada does not share information as they do not like death penalty.
He said the government is still working on that and the court will give another verdict in November this year though Canada refuses to send back the killer.
Dr Momen mentioned that Canada does not send any of those killers to those countries where there is death penalty.
And in the process possibly, the Foreign Minister said, Canada is becoming a hub of killers and murderers. “That’s very sad that a country like Canada has become a hub of so many killers and murders.”
Dr Momen said they are still hopeful and cited an exception that Canada showed by sending back one gentleman in an alternative place instead of Texas where there has been no death penalty.
Once the person entered the place Texas had the privilege to take him back to their custody. “So, Canada can make a difference and can do the same,” said the Foreign Minister.
On August 15, 1975, Bangabandhu along with most of his family members was assassinated brutally at road 32 in Dhanmondi.
Eighteen members of his family including Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons -- Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russel, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu, were, among others, killed on that fateful night.
Military Secretary Brigadier General Jamil was also killed. Several members of a family in the capital’s Mohammadpur area were also killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
Five killers of Bangabandhu -- Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed -- were hanged in January 2010. Another killer Aziz Pasha had met natural death in Zimbabwe in 2001.
On November 19, 2009, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of 12 convicted former army officers for the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Speakers at the discussion said the gruesome assassination of Bangabandhu, along with his family members, had been carried out to plunge Bangladesh into a pit of darkness and stall its process of development from a war-ravaged country.
That brutal and nefarious act was designed only to annihilate the ideals that drove hundreds of thousands of freedom loving people to sacrifice their lives to free the country, they said.
About 30 diplomats from different countries, including US, UK, Russia, China, Japan, and Switzerland, attended the programme arranged in observance of the National Mourning Day.