Saturday, August 24, 2019

Bangladesh yet to locate four absconding killers of its founding father

  • Liton Haider, Chief Crime Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-08-14 23:28:20 BdST

There is no “significant progress” in bringing the six convicted and absconding killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman back to Bangladesh.

The proceedings are limited only on papers and negotiations.

Two among the six assassins have been located abroad, but negotiations to extradite them home to face the penalty have yet to bear fruit. Another convict, Abdul Aziz Pasha, who was hiding in Zimbabwe, died there in 2001.

The father of the nation was killed along with most of his family members on Aug 15 in 1975 at his home. His daughters Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived as they were abroad at the time.

But the investigation into the deaths was stopped through an Indemnity Ordinance, which had saved the self-proclaimed killers from facing justice

The ordinance was abrogated in November, 1996 when the Awami League returned to power, paving the way to bringing the killers to justice.

After a lengthy trial, the court convicted 12 suspects and awarded them the death penalty in 2010.

Out of these self-proclaimed killers, five were hanged on Jan 28, 2010. They were-- Syed Faruque Rahman, Sultan Shahariar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, Mohiuddin Ahmed and AKM Mohiuddin.

The absconding six convicts are - Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, M Rashed Chowdhury, SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslemuddin.

After five other killers were executed eight years ago, Interpol had issued “red corner notices” for the absconding death-row convicts in 2009. The notices have been renewed every five years.

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.

The NCB has maintained regular contact with the countries where the other convicts may be staying, but have not received any particular information about them.

They are aware of the location of Noor and Rashed but have no new information about their extradition, NCB Assistant Inspector General of Police Mahiul Alam told bdnews24.com.

An official letter seeking help has been sent to 194 countries who are the members of the NCB. Some of them have responded while some others have not been heard from, he said.

Among the remaining four convicts, some initial information suggests Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslemuddin have been staying in India and Pakistan respectively, the police official said.

"We have contacted both the countries and India said it does not know where he (Majed) is."

"We had given a reminder to Pakistan but they didn't respond to us. So no information is confirmed yet."

Abdur Rashid and Shariful Haque Dalim are reportedly moving between several countries, the official said.

"Rashid is moving between France, Italy, Libya, Poland, Thailand and England while Dalim is reported to be staying in China, Hong Kong, Kenya, Libya and Thailand."

Law enforcers are keeping regular contact with those countries but they are not responding, he added.

"Interpol is providing all kinds of assistance to us. It has issued warrants to arrest them while reports of the quartet’s whereabouts keep surfacing from time to time."

On Aug 4 in 2018, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said the government has sought assistance from the United States and Canada to bring back two convicted killers home to establish rule of law in Bangladesh.

The minister has expressed his hope to bring them back ahead of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.