1838Published on August 1, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has strongly postulated slain president Ziaur Rahman’s involvement in the August 15, 1975 carnage and expressed her deep sorrow for being unable to expose him to justice.
“Zia’s consequence was inevitable (for the murder) and it’s my regret that I couldn’t hold his trial for the (August 15) assassination” as he himself was killed in a 1981 military coup, she told a discussion to mark the beginning of the month of mourning.
Sheikh Hasina said after grabbing power following the August 15 carnage, Zia rewarded the self-confessed killers with diplomatic assignments abroad “as he was involved in the murder”.
Bangladesh Krishak League (BKL) staged the discussion in front of Bangabandhu’s Dhanmondi 32 residence, now Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, as part of Awami League and its associate organizations month-long mourning.
The discussion was followed by a voluntary blood donation programme commemorating Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s martyrdom 43 years ago.
The premier said the forces which were defeated in 1971, murdered Bangabandhu along with most of his family members to avenge their defeat in the Liberation War.
“They thought that there will be no existence of independence of Bangladesh after the death of the Father of the Nation,” she said.
She said the assailants also thought that Bangladesh would lose its valour and pride and would emerge as sycophant of Pakistan by submitting under their rulers’ feet.
Sheikh Hasina said forces which reluctantly or incidentally joined the Liberation War without having any belief in the spirit of independence masterminded Bangabandhu’s killing.
“The elements who couldn’t accept the defeat of the Pakistani occupation forces as their cohorts and unleashed atrocities on the Banglaees by forming Al Badar and Al Shams were (also) involved in the assassination,” she said.
Awami League Advisory Council Member Amir Hossain Amu, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Mohammad Nasim and Dr Abdur Razzak, Relief and Social Affairs Secretary Faridunnahar Laily, Barrister Fazley Noor Taposh, MP, BKL General Secretary Advocate Khandakar Shamsul Haque Reza took part in the discussion with BKL President Alhaz Motahar Hossain Mollah in the chair.
Earlier, the prime minister unveiled the cover of a BKL publication – “Krishaker Kantho”.
At the outset of the discussion, a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of profound respects to the memory of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.
The prime minister said after the killing of Bangabandhu, General Zia did not allow her and her sister Sheikh Rehana to come home. “Even Zia barred renewal of Rehana’s passport,” she said.
“When I came to Bangladesh facing many hurdles after six years, I was also barred to enter our Dhanmondi-32 house as it was locked … we’re compelled to hold milad for my parents and others on the road in front of the house,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She said after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975, his name was erased. “But it’s true that none can wipe out the history and the history takes revenge,” she added.
The prime minister said after the carnage in 1975, the people of the country were forced to listen to the distorted history. “The playing of historic March 7 speech was banned at that time. But it was proved later that none could suppress the truth,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said removing Chief Justice ASM Sayem from the post of president at gunpoint, Ziaur Rahman declared himself as the president and the chief martial law administration.
It was the Zia’s rule when the distortion of the liberation war started and its spirit was destroyed and 19 coups took place. “Zia at that time formed political party by spreading leftover of the power … he also destroyed the electoral process, established corruption and created loan defaulters,” she said.
“What was the offence of Bangabandhu?” Sheikh Hasina posed a question and replied herself saying, “His only offence was that he brought freedom for the Bangalee nation, liberated the country and gave recognition of Bangladesh as an independent nation.”
The premier said the Pakistanis wanted to kill Bangabandhu and entered the Dhanmondi-32 house, but they could not do it. He never thought and believed that the people of this country can kill him. But a team of betrayers did it in 1975,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh earns achievement one after another, my father and mother surely see it from the heaven. “Bangabandhu’s Bangladesh is marching ahead and got back its dignity,” she said.
The prime minister said she knows that attacks were made on her time and again and more may come. “I don’t care death … my goal is to bring smiles on the faces of the common people by changing their fate and put Bangladesh on a dignified position of the world,” she said.
“I can say now that Bangladesh has been put on a dignified position through its numerous achievements… now we’re a developing country,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu shed his blood for liberating and developing the country. “Now we’ve to repay his debt of blood by establishing Sonar Bangla as dreamt by him,” she said.
Highlighting Bangabandhu’s tremendous successes in rebuilding the war-ravaged country, the premier said Bangabandhu through his successful plan arranged food for hungry people and houses for the homeless.
“Bangabandhu elevated Bangladesh to a least developed country within three and half years and the allied force returned back home within few days due to his strong leadership,” she said.