B’desh hangs killer of founding President

(160815) -- DHAKA, Aug. 15, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on Aug. 15, 2016 shows floral tributes during a commemoration of Bangladesh's founding father and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The nation commemorated on Monday the 41th death anniversary of Bangladesh's founding father and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who was assassinated on Aug. 15, 1975. (Xinhua/Shariful Islam) ****Authorized by ytfs****

Dhaka: An former army officer was hanged in Bangladesh on Sunday for his involvement in the killing of the countrys founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, nearly 45 years after the latter’s assassination in a military coup.

Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Mohammad Towhidul Islam told Efe news that the sacked army captain, Abdul Majed, was hanged to death in Dhaka Central Jail shortly after midnight.

Police arrested Majed in Dhaka on April 7 some 24 years after trial began against him and his fellow army officers for the killing of the “father of the nation”.

He filed a mercy petition to President Abdul Hamid after his arrest. However, the President rejected the clemency plea.

The authorities executed five of the 12 military personnel sentenced to death for the murder of Mujib. Their execution took place on January 27, 2010, a year after Mujib’s daughter, incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power for her second term.

One of the accused died in Zimbabwe in 2001, while six others declared fugitives faced conviction in absentia.

The execution of the five assassins – including the alleged chief conspirator Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruque Rahman – took place nearly 35 years after the August 15, 1975 coup that led to the assassination and toppled Bangladesh’s first post-independence government.

The assassins also killed several members of Mujib’s family.

The military-backed junta and subsequent governments provided immunity to those responsible for plotting and carrying out the assassination.

Hasina, who was abroad when the bloody coup took place, won the parliamentary election in 1996 as the leader of the Awami League. She opened a judicial process against the accused as soon as she took over as Prime Minister.

Mujib is widely regarded as the “father of the nation” for leading Bangladesh through its independence struggle from Pakistan.

At midnight on March 26, 1971, Mujib issued a unilateral declaration of independence in a radio message, after years of political activism against alleged linguistic and regional discrimination of East Pakistan – as the region was known at the time – by governments based in Islamabad and rising atrocities by the military.

Following the declaration, a war broke out between pro-independence groups in East Pakistan, and the military of West Pakistan, which ended with the creation of Bangladesh.

Mujib ruled the country as provisional president and later as Prime Minister with an iron hand during a period of high political and civil unrest until his assassination.