‘Nothing can stop me from calling Zia killer of Bangabandhu’

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News Desk:

Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh MP says that nothing, not even the threat of jail, can prevent him from naming BNP founder Ziaur Rahman and Khandaker Mostaq Ahmed as the killers of the father of the nation and his family members. He also demanded justice for their deaths.
Taposh is the son of Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, the nephew of Bangabandhu, who was also killed on Aug 15, 1975 along with him and his family members. Mostaq Ahmed became the president after the gruesome murders. Taposh was  remembering those days of sirriw after he lost his parents at the age of three years and nine months before diplomats on Saturday, reports bdnews.
The ruling Awami League’s international affairs sub-committee organized the discussion with diplomats to mark the August 15 tragedy at the Bangabandhu Museum at Dhanmondi 32.
Around 50 diplomats from different countries, including India, China, Japan, US, Germany, France and the EU delegation in Dhaka attended the event along with Law Minister Anisul Huq, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Chief Whip of Parliament ASM Feroz, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Civil Aviation M Faruk Khan.
A member of the sub-committee, barrister Shah Ali Farhad, moderated the discussion. Documentaries and interviews of the self-confessed killers on various international media were also screened.
One interview was of Lt Col Farook Rahman, where the self-confessed killer said that on March 20, 1975 the conspirators met then deputy army chief Ziaur Rahman and told him about their plan.
Zia replied: “I am a senior officer. I cannot be involved in such thing. If you, a junior officer can do it….go ahead…”Referring to that interview, Taposh said that it suggested Zia’s intentions. “Doesn’t it say anything?” he asked, indicating Zia was complicit as he did not prevent the gruesome murder while serving as the deputy chief of army.
“They (killers) met him again and again. Where is the chain of command (of the army)? Where is the duty to protect the president? What is their duty? Was not the common intention? Does not that manifest a call of intention to kill the president of the country or remove him by force or change the system? What else has to be said?
“If that is the case, I’ll always say, even I go to jail, that Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman and Khandaker Mostaq are the killers of Bangabandhu and his family members and my family members as well. “Not being a politician, or a lawyer, nothing will stop me saying that and for that I’ll also definitely ask for justice as well,” he said.
He urged the diplomats to help Bangladesh bring back the fugitive killers for the sake of humanity and the criminal justice system.
The law minister narrated discussed ‘long road to justice’ beginning from the killing and subsequent promulgation of the indemnity ordinance which gave the killers immunity to face trail and then the repealing of the ordinance in 1996 when Awami League came to power.
The whole event has “made us learnt more strongly that the rule of law must prevail,” Huq, also the chief prosecutor of the case, said.
He said through this long journey starting from the October 2 1996 until the January 28, 2010 that “we have been able under the leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to establish the rule of law in Bangladesh.” “When there was no scope to file a case for the murder, it can well be said that rule of law does not exist in the country,” he said, referring to the indemnity law.
He said the Bangabandhu murder case also showed the way to try the war criminals of 1971. After a lengthy process, the court convicted 12 suspects for Bangabandhu’s murder and awarded them the death penalty in 2010.
Five were hanged on January 28, 2010, one died of natural causes and six more-Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, M Rashed Chowdhury, SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslemuddin are absconding.
Convict Rasheed Chowdhury is living in the US while Noor Chowdhury is in Canada. The whereabouts of the other four are not clear. The government has made diplomatic efforts to bring them back. After the discussion the diplomats in attendance were taken for a tour of the Bangabandhu Museum.

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