The murderers are dead. Let the healing begin



After 34 years, 5 of the killers of Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman got their due. After a two-decade long legal process winding through the courts, delayed by direct and indirect obstruction of justice by Moudud Ahmed and his BNP colleagues, Bozlul Huda, Mohiuddin Ahmed, A. K. M. Mohiuddin, Syed Faruq Rahman and Sultan Sharhriar Rashid Khan will meet their maker.

I have nothing significant to add to this long and well-known history, so I will look forward.

Madam Prime Minister, we know how easy it would have been for the five convicted killers to get caught in a “riot” and be accidentally killed. As cross-fires are happening every day outside the jail, one could have happened inside, too. Thank you for letting the law take its own course instead of staging a Siraj Shikdar escape attempt.

Perhaps the face of your little brother will not haunt your sleep any more. You have aided justice to prevail. Now let the healing begin. Work to make this the shonar bangla your father promised, that the country expected from him. Complete his unfinished work.

PS: I will end with a WTF! to our lawmakers and prison officials. Why are convicted prisoners being used as executioners? Since Bangladesh has a death penalty, why isn’t this a government job? Two convicted murderers were allowed to kill again in the name of the law. They probably even enjoyed it. Naturally, they will also be compensated and rewarded for service–better meals, perhaps some cigarette and money. Someone convicted with a 6–year sentence does not deserve this.

Its time to end this archaic practice. There are no shortage of state-sanctioned murderers in the name of cross-fire in the RAB and Police. Ask for volunteers from them, or appoint someone for the job, or ask for volunteers from the victims family.

J @ Shada Kalo [] writes using a pseudonym and is best known for exposing government, military, corporate foul plays through whistle-blowing investigative reports.

5 Responses to “The murderers are dead. Let the healing begin”

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    Removing a king or an autocrat ruler through army coup with civilian involvement in Third World countries now and in Europe in the preindustrial period have been seen as matters of great revolutionary accomplishments. Such was the recorded history in England, French and in Russia and most recently in Ethiopia, Cambodia, Uganda, Rumania, and in Iraq.

    In Iraq it was the end of Sadam and his two sons and in Zimbabwe people are still struggling. The success in these struggles against oppressive regimes is recorded in history as milestones in political development. But in Bangladesh case the killing of President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman killed with his family is a different story.

    The killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s family members was a criminal offence and should be tried as a matter of civil jurisdiction; for it is a case of plain murder. But it is not easy to comprehend how to deal with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s killing. In 1971 a man Bangladeshis trusted so much but even after his 7th March speech he continued negotiation with the Pakistani Generals until the 24th of March to save Pakistan. He even didn’t allow his two adult children to participate in the liberation war and mysteriously his entire family remained in the safe custody of the army while the countryman faced genocide.

    A recently published affidavit by General Yahya Khan made before his death mentions that Mujib was willing to change the 6 point demands until the last moment, but it was Mujib’s leftist followers who defied the military and Bhutto who didn’t agree to transfer power to Mujib that broke Pakistan.(1) US state department report also shows Mujib was for confederation but not for separation. Strangely, on Mujib’s return from Pakistan the generous people of Bangladesh received the absentee leader as a hero and the AL even made him the father of the nation. Shortly after Mujib installed the BKSAL dictatorship betraying the peoples hope of achieving democratic institution building. Most of the present young generation was not born at the time and they don’t either know or some others responding to propaganda don’t remember what happened from 1972-75.

    “Et tu, Mostaque?”

    After Mujib established the BKSAL, due to its oppressive nature, Mujib even made many of his close friends and followers his enemies; one of them was Mostaque Ahamed of Awami League. During the liberation war it was Mostaque who convinced Kissinger to create pressure on Pakistani Generals to release Mujib from Pakistan. Mujib’s once savior now became the coup leader. If Mujib saw Mostaque was also went against him, and led the killing he must have asked: “Et tu, Mostaque?” (Even you, Mostaque?). Malek Ukil the AL speaker of the house commented, “second Peru (Feraon) was removed.” But why?

    Syed Muhammad Hussain, says, “Even all his ‘Bhayera Amaar ‘across the length and breadth of the country did not come out wailing at the great fall. Why? The reasons must be embedded in the way the AL conducted itself, the way Sheikh Mujib distanced himself not only from all the pro-independence, proactive-forces, but also from the common people at large. …In my view, the famine of 1974 despite sufficient stocks of food was the watershed, but the charge that ignited the explosion of mayhem and the public silence, was perhaps the huge , multi-layered, cream cake that was carried through the television coverage to celebrate Sheikh Mujib’s birthday. The ’cake’ traveled over the dead bodies and the dying ones in the realm to mark the birth of the ‘Bangabandhu’! All people do and can, suffer only so much pain, but they still had some respect for the dead and they did not take out a cake on the 15th of August 1975.”(2)

    Although no murder should be sanctioned but documented details now open to the public shows the death of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the death of a powerful Third World dictator who after the 1974 election, in the name of establishing democracy established the Fascism of hero-worship in Bangladesh. It shows that it had no ideal or principal-based stand. Thus it was a built-in failure. But Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced his very own ideology called the ‘bhai culture’ of favouratism, taxing, tender grabbing like it is in Hasina time which ultimately strengthened his party but ruined the economy to the point that his Bangladesh was

    internationally known as “the bottomless basket case.” He also established with the unfriendly India an unholy alliance and participated in the joint opening of the Farakka dam and to save himself from attack he stationed the India led Rakhi Bahini. At this time, there was neither food nor democracy for ordinary people of Bangladesh, but people saw him celebrating the royal gala marriages of his sons. Opposition’s protest was not tolerated. One observer reports, “You know, even the girls from respectable families were not safe from Mujib bahini’s sex maniacs. Our neighbor had to go through one such horrible episode.”(3)

    The worst thing of all is that in his

    short rule there were 45 000 killing of opposition members and for the extra judicial killing of Sheraj Shikder. Standing on the sacred ground of the Bangladesh National Assembly he exclaimed “Where are you Sheraj Shikder?”. Thus, this is the difficult part to deal with; his four-year’s short rule was recorded as the darkest chapter of Bangladesh history. BKSAL period earned such notoriety that even Hasina before entering politics apologized to the people for its misdeeds.

    Despite Mujib being a dictator, Hasina reinstalled Mujib as the father of the nation. She reopened even much bigger unholy alliance with India. She gave transit corridor to India, allowed our sacred temple of business, the Chittagong port for the unfriendly India to use; she went against the constitution of the country for the more than 50% Bengali inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts just because they are Bengalis; she allowed the BDR massacre of the army to happen and the killing by heart attack of the witnesses in custody, and the neglect of India’s Tapitmukh dam issue didn’t go unnoticed to the public eye. .One cannot but be dumbfounded at those happenings. People of the country are worried again that like Mujib who before his death was going to be declared by the BKSAL as the lifelong president, Hasina similarly expressed her wishes to stay in power until 2021. Following Mujib’s death many who suffered directly claimed the coup leaders as being the “saviors of the nation,” some even called them as the “patriots.”

    We know killing was unwise but surprisingly after the removal of the BKSAL government people were seen to rejoice. But in the role of researchers on Bangladesh history we wonder why, was it to give credit to a mutiny/ “revolution” against oppression? In Khan Saifur Rahman’s submission to the High Court on the case on behalf of the coup leaders he says “It is evident from the facts of the case as adduced, the event occurring in House No. 677 was in course of a mutiny originating in the Cantonment in the preceding night of occurrence. The killings occurring in the occurrence house resulted from mutiny and the murders are absorbed in the commission of offence of mutiny. An analogy may be found in the case of Section 396 of the Penal Code which absorbs in itself the offence of murder as an offence of dacoity with murder and not as murder simpliciter.” (4)

    Is it a murder or a Mutiny?

    Syed Muhammad Hussain says about Mujib’s death, “The smoke from his most expensive brand Erin more pipe tobacco created a veil across his eyes and his senses and he could not see for himself, nor were his ‘honourable’ bandoliers were honest enough to keep him informed about the people and about their ever-growing problems and the rising tide of disenchantment through deprivation, neglect and unkempt promises.” (5) So came the end of a dictatorship on August 15th. Unquestionably Mujib’s death is a tragedy for Hasina the daughter but herself who caused anarchy through her logi boitha revolution and street killing in open day light in the pre 1/11 days now in the role of Prime Minister she is firing and hiring new judges to the case limiting the neutrality of the judiciary with an intent to try President Mujib’s case as a case of murder is most certainly not addressing the issue in its proper context.

    For it is clear that behind the coup leaders was the shadow of a lingering fascism that certainly killed Mujib. What is needed is to kill the shadow (fascism) the major killer in Bangladesh. Not surprisingly in the President Mujib’s case neither any AL leaders nor the commander in chief on duty who refused to help Mujib on that fateful night were found responsible in the event. The question to the historians, is it the death of a tyrant from mutiny or it is a murder? Is it the intolerance to opposition and spilling of the first blood that led to further rise in mass hatred against the leader? Historians like us on the life and time Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman repeatedly try to answer the above difficult questions about the short-lived BKSAL rule. The answer is perhaps buried in time- the old gypsyman the traveler only will tell us in his next destination. But for now the people who witnessed the unfolding of the tragedy in its sequence of before, during and after the tragedy and the after effect that continues till today through Hasina surely attribute it as the bloodbath of Bangladesh.

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    Yes, this practice of using rapists and other criminals as executioners is totally out of whack. Maybe if normal people without criminal backgrounds cannot be executioners, there is something wrong with the practice of executions? Time to abolish Death penalty!

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    @Shadakalo – I did not ask you to be my editor!
    If you don’t like what I post in its entirety, I suggest you don’t publish them.

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    J @ ShadaKalo

    Sorry, E-Bangladesh is a separate site that occasionally publishes my
    writings. I have no editorial control over them.

    My own blog is at

    Feel free to post your full comment there. As long as it does not
    contain obscenity or advertisement, it will be published as is. If your
    comment is very good (in my humble opinion) and even if it disagrees
    with my own viewpoint, I may even put it in the main blog as a guest

    BTW, I tried to send you a direct email and it bounced, hence the response here.



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    Manirul Islam

    I would like to put forward my views on two points mentioned above. I do not concur with the concept that BKSAL was anti-democratic. I would label it as controlled democracy and was most appropriate to respond to that precarious condition the country was going through. Left insurgents – ‘nihilist socialist scientologists’, Maoists’ ‘Golakata’ campaign and last but not the least surreptitious come back of armed Rajakars under the banner of Ganobahini, Sarbahara party and CPEPML – set already war ravaged country again ablaze. USA, Saudi Pakistan alliance provided generous logistics to these saboteurs. Historically liberal democracy does not work during and aftermath of a national liberation war or revolution. There are precedents even in the western democracies of suspension of certain civil liberties during war time. Failure on the part of Awami League to try to confront tirade of eclectic ideological opponents of liberation war trumpeting BKSAL as villain of democracy is the inherent weakness of a semi-bourgeois democratic party.

    Quoting two heinous war criminals Yahya and Kissinger is despicable and defies any logic of a human mind being oblivious of the fact that their hands are soaked with blood of thousands of Bangalees.

    Finally to drift away from the caption;murderers are dead physically less than 50%. practically the beneficiaries of that carnage are the faithful flagbearers of the fascist ideology of the killers which still keeps the country conspicuously divided.

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