The government is exploring "all the avenues" to bring back five fugitive convicted killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to execute the court verdict as the nation is set to observe National Mourning Day on Saturday.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen reiterated that the government is working to bring back the convicted killers of Bangabandhu, at least one more in this Mujib Barsho, to implement the court verdict.
"It's our hope," he said adding that one of the killers -- former captain Abdul Majed --was executed recently.
The fugitives are: Col (dismissed) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (relieved) Shariful Haque Dalim, Maj (retd) Noor Chowdhury, Maj (retd) Rashed Chowdhury and Risaldar Moslehuddin Khan.
On August 15 in 1975, the Greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members was brutally assassinated.
Eighteen members of the Father of the Nation's 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 Abu Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his pregnant wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were, among others, killed by the heinous killers on that fateful night.
Bangabandhu's Military Secretary Brigadier General Jamil was also murdered.
Several members of a family died in the capital's Mohammadpur area by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
The Foreign Minister also sought support from Bangladeshi expatriates living in different countries alongside the government initiative to bring back the remaining five fugitive convicted killers of Father of the Nation and execute the verdict.
On November 19, 2009, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of 12 convicted former army officials for the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Killers: Who is Where
Of the fugitives, the government knows the whereabouts of Noor Chowdhury and Rashed Chowdhury; and it was not sure about the other fugitives -- Rashid, Dalim and Moslehuddin.
Noor Chowdhury is now in Canada while Rashed Chowdhury in the USA.
Dalim and Moslemuddin are believed to have been hiding in Spain and Germany respectively.
Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government is trying to bring all the five fugitive killers of Bangabandhu back to the country.
"We’ll continue our efforts until all the five are brought back and their (death) sentences are executed," he said in a video message.
The Law Minister said killer Rashed Chowdhury has obtained political asylum in the USA.
When Bangladesh keeps trying to get back Rashed Chowdhury from the USA to execute the verdict, a media report is there suggesting his US protection could be revoked.
POLITICO, an American online portal, came up with a report headlined, "He thought he had asylum. Now, he could face a death sentence" indicating that Rashed Chowdhury might lose his current protection and deportation from the US.
Late last month, Attorney General William Barr quietly reopened a sprawling case that spans four decades and two continents, POLITICO reported.
Meanwhile, 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 the natural death in Zimbabwe in 2001.
Why was the Killing?
The anti-liberation clique killed Bangabandhu at a time when he had engaged in the struggle to build ‘Golden Bangladesh’ along with the whole nation by reconstructing the war-ravaged country, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Through the killing of Bangabandhu, she said, the defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee Nation.
The aim of the killers was to break the state structure of secular democratic Bangladesh and foil our hard-earned Independence, the Prime Minister said in message on Friday.
The anti-liberation forces involved in the carnage initiated the politics of killing, coup and conspiracy in the country right after the 15 August 1975.
They also impeded the trial of Bangabandhu murder by promulgating Indemnity Ordinance, she said adding that BNP-Jamaat Alliance government stopped the trial.
The Prime Minister said Ziaur Rahman had illegally taken over state power and promulgated Martial Law by desecrating democracy and suspending the Constitution.
Zia rewarded the killers of the Father of the Nation and gave them jobs at Bangladesh missions abroad and gave the anti-liberation war criminals nationality, made them partners in state power and rehabilitated them politically and socially, said the Prime Minister.