Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hasina says conspirators of Bangabandhu killing were in Awami League

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-05-18 00:29:34 BdST


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the conspirators who spearheaded the coup in 1975 that killed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were within the Awami League‎.

The daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father says many in the party were involved in the conspiracy along with minister Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad, just four years after independence.‎

"Actually the enemies were disguised in our own house. No one gets the chance to do any harm without the help of an insider. They (the enemies in Awami League) gave them (the killers of Bangabandhu) the opportunity," she said on Wednesday.

She was speaking at a meeting with leaders and activists of the ruling party at the Ganabhaban to mark her homecoming after the killing of Bangabandhu and most other members of the family.

Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana were abroad when Bangabandhu and the others were killed on Aug 15, 1975 by a group of rogue army officers. 

She returned in 1981 and took the helm of the Awami League. Now she is serving a third term as prime minister.

The ruling party leaders have always said the conspirators of the Bangabandhu assassination have not been brought to justice.

They have also been claiming that ‘a foreign power’ was involved in the conspiracy.

Five convicted of murdering Bangabandhu were hanged in 2010. They are Syed Faruque Rahman, Sultan Shahariar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, Mohiuddin Ahmed and AKM Mohiuddin.

Another, Abdul Aziz Pasha, who was hiding in Zimbabwe, died there in 2001, police said.

The authorities say they were not sure about whereabouts of convict Risaldar Moslehuddin (Khan).

The other five are Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, M Rashed Chowdhury, AHMB Noor Chowdhury and Abdul Mazed.

Hasina earlier said Rashid had gone to Pakistan from Libya while Dalim was in Pakistan. The four others are either in the US or Canada.

The Awami League chief told the Ganabhaban meeting that she could not believe that Bangabandhu could be killed.

"Many told him that something like this could happen. But father said: 'No. They are like my sons. Why will they kill me?'," recalled Hasina.

She said the killers of Bangabandhu were actually collaborators of the Pakistan Army.

According to her, many of those involved with the Aug 15 massacre had access to Bangabandhu's house at Dhanmondi's Road No 32.

"Dalim, his mother-in-law, wife, sister-in-law were frequent visitors and would spend hours in our house," Hasina said.

She also mentioned that Noor Chowdhury worked as ADC of MAG Ataul Gani Osmani, commander-in-chief of the Bangladesh Forces during the war, along with her brother Sheikh Kamal. "These were familiar faces."

Another killer, Syed Faruque Rahman, was a nephew of AR Mallick, the finance minister in Bangabandhu's cabinet.

"They were rather close people. But they conspired (to kill Bangabandhu)," Hasina said.‎

She also alleged that BNP founder and slain president Ziaur Rahman had links with the killers of Bangabandhu.

Twelve army officers involved in Bangabandhu assassination had been rewarded with jobs in diplomatic missions abroad in 1977 when Zia 'captured' power through a military coup.

The prime minister also said Dr Kamal Hossain, who was the foreign minister of Bangabandhu’s cabinet in 1975, did not say a word over the killing at a press conference in the German city of Bonn that year.

“He just went to his destination where he was scheduled to go. It was Humayun Rashid Choudhury who condemned the killing before the press.” 
At the time, Choudhury was in Germany as Bangladesh’s first ambassador.

Dr Kamal Hossain also served as a presidium member of the Awami League and later formed his own party Gono Forum, while Humayun Rashid Choudhury had served as the speaker of parliament during one of Hasina’s tenures.

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