Press Trust of India – Bangladesh has hanged the five ex-Army officers convicted of assassinating the country’s founder, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, almost 35 years after he was killed in a military coup. The five death row convicts were hanged past midnight (local time), hours after the Supreme Court rejected their review plea, jail officials said.
Ex-Lieutenant Colonel Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and ex-Major Bazlul Huda were hanged first as the execution process started late on Wednesday while ex-Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruq Rahman was the third to be executed minutes later. Ex-lieutenant colonels Shahriar Rashid Khan and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer) were the last to walk to the gallows.
The entire execution process took just 40 minutes, though it took 35 years to bring them to justice for the August 15, 1975, assassination of the former president along with most of his family members.
Mujib was killed along with his wife and three sons, including 10-year-old Russel. His daughters, PM Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived as they were abroad at the time.
Six others condemned for the killing are still on the run though Bangladesh has launched a diplomatic campaign engaging the Interpol to bring them home.
Jail officials said Dhaka’s district magistrate and deputy commissioner Zillar Rahman, civil surgeon Dr Mushfiqur Rahman and additional district magistrate Avijit Sarkar entered the jail before midnight along with Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Ashraful Islam, as their presence were required during the hanging. They said Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar and Dhaka’s police commissioner A K M Shahidul Haque also came to the jail just ahead of execution.
Elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops, armed police battalion and plainclothesmen took positions around the jail complex reinforcing the regular police.
Witnesses said a police van reached the jail gate carrying five coffins while another van came to the scene with two wooden bedsteads that were likely to be used for ablution of the bodies after the execution.
Hundreds crowded the streets outside the jail with many chanting slogans demanding executions. Witnesses said five ambulances arrived at the scene to carry the bodies. The bodies would be handed over to the relatives of the ex-Army officers.
Courtesy: The Indian Express