After four decades, a former army officer convicted of killing Bangladesh’s independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 has been executed.
Abdul Majed was hanged in the capital Dhaka after his appeal for presidential clemency was rejected earlier this week.
The execution took place at the Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj at 12:01 am on April 12th, 2020, Jailor Mahbubul Islam told media.
Majed was arrested on April 7th, 2020 after spending 25 years on the run for the assassination of founder father of Bangladesh.
Reports claim that Majed was living secretly in Kolkata, India for the past 23 years ever since Awami League – Sheikh Hasina‘s party – came to power in 1996. He was arrested after returning to Bangladesh last month.
Rahman, the father of the current Bangladesh Prime Minister, Hasina – was killed during a military coup in 1975, along with most of his family. Rahman’s death came just four years after Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan.
The Awami League government led by Hasina scarped a law protecting Rahman’s killers from prosecution. In 1998, a dozen of army officers, including Majed, were sentenced to death. The Bangladesh’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict in 2009.
Hanged till death
Twelve ex-military officers were sentenced to death for assassinating Rahman. Five were hanged at Dhaka Central Jail on January 28th, 2010. The trial process began in 1996 when an indemnity law was scrapped by Hasina’s government as it was protecting the assassins.
The hanged lieutenant colonels were Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, AKM. Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed and sacked Major Bazlul Huda.
Farooq Rahman, Shahriar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed of the Artillery faced trial in the judge’s court in person.
Huda was extradited from Thailand and Lancer Mohiuddin was sent back from the United States, after the then district judge Golam Rasul delivered the judgment.
Sacked Colonel Rashed Pasha died of natural causes in Zimbabwe while on the run, The Week reported.
On August 15th, 1975, a group of junior army officers invaded the presidential residence with tanks and killed Rahman, his family and personal staff.
Only his daughters Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, who were visiting West Germany at the time, escaped. They were banned from returning to Bangladesh.
The coup was planned by disgruntled Awami League colleagues and military officers, which included Rahman’s colleague and former confidanté Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad, who became his immediate successor.
There was intense speculation in the media accusing the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency of having instigated the plot. Lawrence Lifschultz has alleged that the CIA was involved in the coup and assassination, basing his assumption on statements by the then-US ambassador in Dhaka, Eugene Booster.
Rahman’s death plunged the nation into many years of political turmoil. The coup leaders were soon overthrown and a series of counter-coups and political assassinations paralyzed the country.
Order was largely restored after a coup in 1977 gave control to the army chief Ziaur Rahman. Declaring himself President in 1978, Ziaur Rahman signed the Indemnity Ordinance, giving immunity from prosecution to the men who plottedRahman’s assassination and overthrow.
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