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POST TIME: 3 November, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 November, 2016 01:44:53 AM
jail killing day Today
11 convicted killers still absconding
MUHAMMAD YEASIN

11 convicted killers still absconding

Despite the lapse of 41 years since the killing of four Liberation War heroes in captivity in Dhaka Central Jail, the government has not yet been able to carry out the apex court order against the 11 convicted killers as they are hiding abroad.However, law minister Anisul Huq told The Independent that the government is doing all it can to bring back the fugitive killers. “Diplomatic and legal efforts are on to bring them back. The four national leaders were killed inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975,” he said.
On November 3, 1975, 78 days after the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his close associates and four Liberation War heroes— acting president of the Bangladesh government in exile in 1971, Syed Nazrul Islam, prime minister of the same government, Tajuddin Ahmed, finance minister M Mansur Ali and minister for home affairs, relief and rehabilitation, AHM Qamaruzzaman—were killed by some disgruntled Army officers inside Dhaka Central Jail.
The next day, the deputy inspector general (DIG) of prisons, Kazi Abdul Awal, filed a murder case with Lalbagh police station in this connection.
But the investigation and trial was withheld until the Awami League government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh  Hasina, assumed office in 1996. Twenty-three years after filing of the case, the charge-sheet in the jail killing case was submitted before the court on October 15, 1998. The Appellate Division upheld the death penalty of three former Army personnel and life-term imprisonment of eight others in the case on April 30, 2014, upon a government appeal challenging the High Court verdict.
Those awarded the death penalty are Risalder (retd) Muslemuddin, Dafadar (dismissed) Marfat Ali Shah and Dafadar (dismissed) Abdul Hashem Mridha.
The eight convicts who were handed down life term imprisonment are Lt Col (dismissed) Khondaker Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (relieved) Shariful Haq Dalim, Lt Col (retd) SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Lt Col (retd) AM Rashed Chowdhury, Maj (relieved) Ahmed Shariful Hossain, Capt (retd) Abdul Majed, Capt (relieved) Kismat Hasem and Capt (relieved) Nazmul Hossain. All the convicts are on the run.
In October 2004, the Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge’s court convicted and sentenced three Army personnel—Muslemuddin, Marfat Ali Shah and Abdul Hashem Mridha—to death and handed down life-term imprisonment to 12 others. Four of the 12 convicts—Lt Col (dismissed) Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahrier Rashid Khan, Maj. (retd) Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer)—have been executed in the Bangabandhu assassination case.
On August 28, 2008, the High Court upheld the capital punishment of Muslemuddin and acquitted Marfat and Hashem. It also acquitted Farooq, Shahrier, Mohiuddin and Bazlul Huda.
The government filed an appeal with the Supreme Court in 2009 against the High Court verdict, appealing to the Supreme Court to uphold the trial court’s verdict.
In 2011, the Supreme Court exempted Farooq, Shahrier, Mohiuddin and Bazlul Huda from the case as they were already executed.
According to media reports and police sources, seven of the fugitives are still hiding in different countries. Lt Col (Retd.) Khondakar Abdur Rashid is now living in Libya and Pakistan, while five others—Lt Col (Retd.) Shariful Haque, alias Dalim, Lt Col SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Lt Col Rashed Chowdhury (Retd), Mohammad Kismat Hashem and Capt. (Retd.) Nazmul Hossain Ansari—are now living in Canada.
Besides, Maj. Ahmed Sharaful Hossain (Retd) and Capt. Abdul Majid (Retd) still remained untraced.
Law minister Anisul Huq said: “We have accurate knowledge about the two fugitive convicts and some satisfactory progress has been made to bring them back. All the fugitive convicts will be brought back following the due process of law.” He also said that the legal procedure is now on to confiscate the property and wealth of those convicted in the case.