• Thursday, Jan 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Taskforce to bring back Bangabandhu’s killers had no meeting in 2 years

  • Published at 01:47 pm August 15th, 2020
Rashed Chowdhury-Bangabandhu
Rashed Chowdhury, a former Bangladesh Army officer, was convicted for his role in the assassination of Bangabandhu, the founding father and President of Bangladesh Collected

Five self-proclaimed killers of the Father of the Nation are still absconding

The taskforce which the government had formed to bring back the killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, skipped all of its scheduled meetings in the last two years.

The committee, headed by Law Minister Anisul Huq, was scheduled to sit four times in pre-scheduled meetings in the last two years, but none of the meetings actually took place.

The taskforce had its last meeting on July 31, 2017, at the state guest house Padma to discuss different issues to bring back the absconding killers of Bangabandhu. Since then, all the meetings scheduled did not take place, including the last one scheduled for September 19, 2019.

When asked about the matter, the law minister avoided a direct answer and said “the taskforce does not hold meetings publicly.

“But we are doing a lot of work internally,” he said.

The minister said various efforts were already taken to bring back the killers involved in the August 15 carnage where Bangabandhu and most of his family members were killed by rogue army officers.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, a member of the taskforce, also confirmed that they have not sat for a long time, but will sit soon.

The government is making diplomatic efforts to bring back Rashed Chowdhury, a fugitive and one of the killers of Bangabandghu currently living in the United States, and to get his political asylum cancelled, sources said.

Similarly, alternative efforts are being made to bring back Noor Chowdhury, who is staying in Canada, the sources said.

Whereabouts of the killers 

The International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol’s Bangladesh part National Central Bureau (NCB) sources confirmed the whereabouts of the two killers –Rashed Chowdhury is in the US and Noor Chowdhury in Canada.

The whereabouts of Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, and Risaldar Moslem Uddin still remain unknown.

However, some intelligence sources claimed that Dalim and Rashid are in Pakistan or in Libya. Indian media reported earlier that Risaldar Moslem Uddin is absconding in this neighbouring country.

NCB officials said they sent an email to their Indian counterpart seeking information on Moslem Uddin last year, but no responses were made, not even an unofficial one.

Mohiul Islam, assistant inspector general of Bangladesh police, while speaking with Dhaka Tribune said the US recently reopened Bangabandhu's killer Rashed Chowdhury's political asylum case which has created a hope for Bangladesh.

“If the country cancels his asylum, it will be easier for us to bring him back,” he said.

“Bangladesh has only a convict or criminal exchange treaty with Thailand and India and that is why we are relying on bringing back those convicts from the US, Canada, or other countries through mutual and legal assistance requests,” Mohiul added.

Process to bring back the killers

Bangladesh Police said a red alert was issued by Interpol to capture Bangabandhu's killers after the Awami League government came to power in 2009, and then the alert was renewed in 2019.

Aziz Pasha, one of the convicts of the August 15 assassination, may have died on June 2, 2001, while in political asylum in Zimbabwe.

If the whereabouts of Dalim, Moslem Uddin, and Abdur Rashid are not clearly confirmed, NCB will be renewed in Interpol for the third time in 2024.

Properties of the killers

One of the convicts in the Bangabandhu killing, Captain (retd) Abdul Majed was executed at the Dhaka Central Jail on April 12, 2020, but his family is still enjoying possession of his properties.

According to NCB sources, Majed had 67.5 decimal of land in the name of his wife Saleha Begum at his village home in Borhanuddin at Bhola.

Besides, in Borhanuddin municipality there are buildings on 27 decimal of land which was officially listed for confiscation but it is yet to be done.

Ahmed Ullah, commander at Muktijoddha Command Council of Borhanuddin upazila, said although all of Majed’s property was confiscated by the government, his family is still enjoying the possession.

Meanwhile another killer of the Father of the Nation, Shariful Haque Dalim had a one-storey building on a six katha land in the capital's PC Culture Housing at Mohammadpur.

A former director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took possession of it on January 4, 1986. He claimed to the government that it was bought for Tk90,000 from Dalim through a deed.

But last year the Bangladesh government took possession of it through the court and now it is under police possession, Mohammadpur police station Officer-In-Charge (OC), Abdul Latif confirmed.

The government also found Dalim had a plot in Gulshan which was sold at an auction to pay a loan of Sonali Bank.

Later the rest of money was deposited in the cantonment branch of Sonali Bank.

A total of 17-acre of property owned by Abdur Rashid and his father Abdul Karim was confiscated in two stages. In the first phase, 10.82 acres of property in Comilla was confiscated on August 21, 2014, after an order issued by a court. In the second phase, on June 14, 2015, another 6.12 acres of property was confiscated.

Rashed Chowdhury's 1.15 acre property under Hajiganj police station in Chandpur was seized. These lands were confiscated on May 20, 2014, and registered in Khas Khatian.

Moslem Uddin’s property was found in Shibpur upazila of Narsingdi and was seized by the deputy commissioner. Another killer Nur Chowdhury's property in South Surma in Sylhet was also confiscated.

Indemnity Ordinance saved self-proclaimed killers from facing justice

The Father of the Nation was killed along with most of his family members at his Dhanmondi Road 32 house on Aug 15, 1975.

His daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived as they were abroad at the time.

After the assassination of Bangabandhu, the investigation into the deaths was stopped through the 1975 Indemnity Ordinance, which had saved the self-proclaimed killers from facing justice.

In November 1996, after Awami League returned to power, a case was filed at Dhanmondi police station on October 2, 1996, and the ordinance was repealed.

Final verdict

Later, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)of Police was given the responsibility to investigate the case. The charge-sheet of the case was given the following year. 

In the final verdict of the murder case announced on November 19, 2009, 12 out of 15 accused were sentenced to death, the other three were released.

On January 28, 2010, five convicts -- Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, and Mohiuddin Ahmed were hanged. 

Abdul Majed was executed on April 12 of this year.

Aziz Pasha, one of the killers, may have died on June 2, 2001, in Zimbabwe.

The nation is now waiting for the rest five-- Abdur Rashid Khandakar, Shariful Haque Dalim, M Rashed Chowdhury, SHMB Noor Chowdhury, and Risaldar Moslemuddin to be hanged. All of them are absconding.

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