Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday hoped that they would be able to bring back all the fugitive convicted killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the ongoing Mujib Year.
He reiterated his optimism following the arrest of former military captain Abdul Majed, who was on the run to escape hangman’s noose.
It was believed that he was absconding in India. Police arrested him from Dhaka on Tuesday. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said he might have come to Dhaka escaping coronavirus fear.
The foreign minister in a statement said this is a good news in the time of coronavirus crisis.
“We expected that at least one killer would be brought back during Mujib Year. Thanks to God, it’s happened,” he said, referring to the birth centenary celebration of Bangabandhu from March 17 in 2020 to March 17 in 2021.
“But still four are absconding. One of them in the US and another in Canada,” he said as the government could not give whereabouts of the others.
“Our expectation is that we will be able to bring all of them back in the MUjib Year,” the foreign minister said, seeking the support of the expatriate Bangladeshis.
The father of the nation was assassinated along with most of his family members on Aug 15 in 1975. His daughters Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived as they were abroad at the time.
But the investigation into the deaths was stopped through an Indemnity Ordinance, which had saved the self-proclaimed killers from facing justice.
The ordinance was abrogated in November, 1996 when the Awami League returned to power, paving the way to bringing the killers to justice.
After a lengthy trial, the court convicted 12 suspects and awarded them the death penalty in 2010.
Out of these self-proclaimed killers, five were hanged on Jan 28, 2010. One died before.
SHMB Noor Chowdhury is living in Canada and M Rashed Chowdhury in the US.
The government maintained that they had no idea about the whereabouts of the other four – Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, Abdul Mazed and Risaldar Moslemuddin. Now Mazed is arrested.
The Foreign Minister last year said they were trying to bring back Noor and Rashed before the beginning of the celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu in 2020 and 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence in 2021.
The Canadian government, however, maintained that they would not extradite any convict who can face death sentence. Bangladesh government is fighting the case in the court.
On Rashed Chowdhury, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wrote to President Donald Trump in 2018 for sending him back.
The discussion is still going on, according to officials of the foreign ministry.