Several hundred officers were hanged on charges of coup attempt on October 2, 1977
Family members of the army and air force officials hanged during the rule of military strongman Ziaur Rahman have asked the government to prepare a list of the officers and find their graves.
They also demanded that the government declare them innocent and preserve their memories, many of whom were freedom fighters.
The demands came from a meeting in front of the Dhaka Central Jail on Friday attended by the 120 families of the deceased. They also declared a march towards the Dhaka Cantonment for November 7, demanding that Zia’s grave be relocated from Chandrima Udyan.
General Zia became president of the country on April 21, 1977. In the name of thwarting a coup attempt by Bangladesh Air Force officials on October 2, he announced curfew and hanged several hundred officials at the Dhaka Central Jail. The bodies were buried at Azimpur graveyard without following rituals, said the aggrieved families.
Last month, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in parliament that a good number of army officers and soldiers, and 562 Air Force officers and soldiers had been killed during Zia’s regime.
She also asked the lawmakers to take an initiative to find out how many people were hanged in different jails at that time. “So many people were hanged in every jail, particularly in Dhaka, Bogra, Rajshahi, Khulna, Comilla and other places. There were coups one after another and hundreds of people were killed,” she said.