15th August: SHADOW UNDER LIGHTS

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15th august
15th august
Tusher Abdullah

MNA Editorial Desk: Undoubtedly, Bangladesh has achieved a massive revolution in political and economic sectors and the government has also taken several initiatives to be a developed country by 2041. The present government of Sheikh Hasina under the ruling of Awami League has able to build a better diplomatic relation with other countries around the world. The acceptance of this government to the international arena is, unquestionably, better than any other time.

But it’s a matter of great regret that the government has failed to execute death sentence of all the murders of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the nation, and it would be no wrong if I define it as the most failure of Hasina government.

Today, 15th August, the Bengali nation is remembering the architecture of independent Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with due respect and deep condolence to mark the 42nd anniversary of his martyrdom. To observe the day countrywide with appropriate status and gravity, government and number of political, social and cultural organizations has taken various programs into schedule.

In that darkest night, heinous assassins killed the unprecedented leader, Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnessa, eldest son Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, youngest son Sheikh Russell, Sheikh Kamal’s wife Sultana Kamal, Jamal’s wife Rosy Jamal, brother of Bangabandhu Sheikh Naser, officer at SB Siddikur Rahman, colonel Jamil, army soldier Syed Mahbubul Haque, almost simultenously the assassins attacked the nephew of Bangabandhu, a Juba League leader Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni’s residence and killed Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, his pregnant wife Arju Moni, they attacked at brother-in-law of Bangabandhu Abdur Rab Serniabat’s residence and killed Serniabat and his daughter Baby, son Arif Serniabat, grandson Sukanta babu, son of Serniabat’s elder brother Sajib Serniabat and a relative Bentu Khan.

However, shamelessly, the military decided not to court-martial the military officials who masterminded and participated in the coup. The conspirators could not be tried in court of law on the charge of assassination because of the ‘Indemnity Ordinance’ passed by the government under President Khondaker Mustaq Ahmed. Even the murderers were awarded in many ways.

In 1976, from the alleged murderer group of that 15th August, 12 of them were given jobs at several high commissions around the world. After long 21 years in 1996, when Sheikh Hasina led government came to power, this ‘Indemnity Ordnance’ was canceled.

Meanwhile, three months after Bangabandhu’s massacre four influential Awami League leaders were jailed and killed in high-security Dhaka Central Jail on 3 November 1975 allegedly by some of the coup leaders. The four leaders were Vice-president Syed Nazrul Islam, Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed, ministers M. Mansur Ali and A H Muhammad Quamruzzaman. Hours after the Central Jail killings the murderers reportedly fled to Libya following a counter-coup and the establishment of martial law.

However, in 2009 after the current government got re-elected, on 28 January 2010 five ex-army officers were executed by hanging in Dhaka Central Jail – the same location where they were alleged to have killed the carnets in 3 November 1975, thirty-four years ago. Of the remaining seven, one died and six are fugitives from justice in foreign lands. The government so far has no specific information on the location of the six fugitives.

Vulturous Celebration

On 15 August, Pakistan celebrated the end of the man who had forced its soldiers to leave the land of the Bengalis in December 1971. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said he, was granting recognition to the new government of the ‘Islamic Republic’ of Bangladesh. China, which had till September 1974 vetoed Bangladesh’s entry into the United Nations, recognized Bangladesh by the end of the month.

Saudi Arabia and Sudan had earlier done the same. It was an eerie set of conditions as a bunch of majors and colonels held the country in their grip, keeping it hostage to their whims. Stranger was the truth that almost all of Mujib’s ministers continued to serve the Moshtaque usurper regime. General M A G Osmany, who had only months earlier resigned his position in the Jatiyo Sangsad to protest the arrival of the one-party Baksal system, could hold himself back from siding with Moshtaque.

An advocate of socialism, Sheikh Mujibur rose to the ranks of the Awami League and East Pakistani politics as a charismatic and forceful orator. He became popular for his opposition to the ethnic and institutional discrimination of Bengalis in Pakistan, who comprised the majority of the state’s population. In a 2004 BBC Bengali opinion poll, Rahman was voted as the “Greatest Bengali of All Time”.

With that heinous most brutal killing ever in history of world and human civilization, they not only killed Bangabandhu but tried to kill the ideals the thousand years awaited and achieved ideals of indepences along with him. As long as this country exists, Bangabandhu will exist immortally.

The writer is a post-graduate student of Dhaka University.