Bangladesh is celebrating nation’s mourn day as it is the day of loosing its father. The father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Muzibur Rahman was killed by some misguided stupid in 1975 along with most most of the family members. Present Prime minister Begum Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana were staying outside the country and escaped from the death of this bloody night. Some of the Army officers of that time had killed father of the nation and broken the heart of whole nation. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is one of the greatest politicians of whole world for ever.
He gave an independent country after a lot of sacrifice of his own peace. He led the whole nation to raise voice against dominant Pakistan. Then the whole nation became united to attain independence with a bloody 9 month war. Different political parties are organizing different programs ahead of this mourn day. Every government or non government organizations are supposed to be closed today.
Last thirty-four years the nation observed the death anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with a reiterated demand for justice, but today it is different as justice has finally been done.
Some historic developments in the judiciary in the past eight months gave this new dimension in observing the National Mourning Day on the 35th death anniversary of Bangabandhu today.
“It’s not possible to forget the grief of the gruesome killings of August 15, but this time we have at least consolation that we could ensure justice,” Bangabandhu’s grandson Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, who lost his parents in the August mayhem, told The Daily Star yesterday.
“We must mourn tomorrow [today], but this time we have an achievement of completing the justice and the nation has been freed from its stigma,” continued Taposh, who was around four years old at that time and survived the mayhem.
“We have freed the nation from the stigma to some extent through executing the verdict of the Bangabandhu killing case,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of Bangabandhu in her message on the occasion of National Mourning Day.
The attack at Bangabandhu’s residence on Road-32 in Dhanmondi on this day 35 years ago left 11 people–Bangabandhu, his wife, two daughters-in-law, three sons including 10-year-old Sheikh Russell and a brother–dead.
Bangabandhu’s daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived the carnage as they were abroad at that time.
“They committed a crime against humanity by killing a child and three innocent women who were unarmed. They eliminated almost the entire family who were found in the house. There is no explanation on the side of the accused as to why they killed these innocent people. The acts of the accused were so barbarous which could only be compared with orgies,” observed the Supreme Court in the historic judgment over the Bangabandhu killing case.
Since the assassination, no government took any initiative to bring the killers to justice until Sheikh Mujib’s own party Awami League came to power in 1996 under the leadership of his daughter Sheikh Hasina.
In November 1996, Hasina’s first government repealed the black indemnity ordinance of 1975 that barred trial of the killers. Hasina’s second government completed the justice executing the judgment of the court in January this year.
The court gave capital punishment to 12 killers. Five of them have been hanged as they were in jail, another one died abroad earlier and six are still hiding in different countries. So execution of the verdict has not been fully completed yet.
In another brutal case of assassination, four national leaders — Syed Nazrul Islam, acting president of Bangladesh government in exile in 1971, Tajuddin Ahmed, prime minister, M Mansur Ali, finance minister, and AHM Qamaruzzaman, minister for home affairs, relief and rehabilitation, of the same government were assassinated at Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.
The four leaders were killed only 79 days after usurpers in a desperate bid assassinated Bangabandhu, but justice of this brutal killing has not been delivered yet.
“Steps have been taken to bring back the remaining convicts. Measures have also been taken to accelerate the trial of the killers of four national leaders,” Hasina said in her message.
On the dark night of August 15, 1975, AFM Mohitul Islam, 22-year-old receptionist at Bangabandhu’s residence, fortunately survived the heinous attack.
Mohitul, plaintiff of the Bangabandhu murder case, still bears the trauma of that night. He told The Daily Star yesterday, “I am happy as the verdict of the case has been executed, though partially. I will be happier when the complete verdict would be executed.”
Mohitul believes there are some people other than the convicted killers who were involved in the conspiracy and patronised the brutal killing of Bangabandhu.
“The patronisers and conspirators of the killing also should be brought to justice. If it is not possible now, even then the government should expose them in some way,” Mohitul demanded.
Taposh, however, believes the nation is aware enough about the patronisers and the conspirators of the assassinations.
“Though it was not possible to bring the conspirators to book, it already has been exposed before the nation who tried to protect the killers blocking trial,” Taposh said.
“It is a pity that the surviving family members of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the nation, as a whole, had to wait for about long 34 years to get justice by disposing of the criminal case of the gruesome murder,” the apex court said in its full text of the judgment released in December, the following month of delivering verdict in open court.
The judgment added, “To protect and shelter such killers is a great crime, a great sin and sin spares none.”
The motive of the killing was to change the country from the track of secular spirit, which is evident in the actions of the rulers after the assassination of Bangabandhu.
After the August 15 carnage, illegal military rule had been introduced in the country for the first time and Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed, Abu Sadaat Mohammad Sayem and Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman took over the state power unconstitutionally.
They distorted constitution, protected killers of Bangabandhu and awarded them in several ways.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution had legitimised the governments and military rule since the assassination of then president Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975, to April 9, 1979, which has been declared illegal by the apex court in February.
It will remain in the history of the judiciary as an example as to how many hurdles had to be crossed before justice being served. Among those was the Indemnity Ordinance, which was introduced by Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed and then given constitutional legitimacy by Lt Gen Ziaur Rahman through the Fifth Amendment.
“We are putting on record our total disapproval of martial law and suspension of the constitution or any part thereof in any form,” said the Supreme Court and continued, “The perpetrators of such illegalities should also be suitably punished and condemned so that in future no adventurist, no usurper, would dare to defy the people, their constitution, their government, established by them with their consent.”
These significant verdicts of the apex court in last eight months not only paved the way to bring the country back on track, which was derailed through assassination of Bangabandhu, but also gave a significant dimension to observing the National Mourning Day, also a national holiday, which has been restored by a High Court verdict in 2008.
Taposh, who is also a ruling party lawmaker, said, “Two decisions of the Supreme Court [one on Bangabandhu murder and the other on the Fifth Amendment] supplement each other and these will help build the country as per the dreams of martyrs and freedom fighters of the Liberation War of 1971.”