Man convicted of killing B’desh’s founding prez arrested

Dhaka: Police in Bangladesh  on Tuesday arrested a man convicted of killing the country’s founding President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, often addressed as the “father of the nation”.

Law Minister Anisul Huq confirmed to Efe news that sacked army captain Abdul Majed, convicted and sentenced to death in 2009, had been arrested in Dhaka.

Huq, who heads a special task force that had been formed to find the six absconding killers of Mujib, did not give further details.

Five of the 12 military personnel sentenced to death for the 1975 murder were executed on January 27, 2010, a year after his daughter, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, came to the power for her second term.

One of the accused had died in Zimbabwe in 2001 while six others were convicted in absentia and declared fugitives.

The execution of five killers – including the alleged chief conspirator Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruque Rahman – took place nearly 35 years after the crime against Mujib, who was assassinated along with several members of his family during an Army coup on August 15, 1975.

The military-backed junta and subsequent governments provided immunity to those responsible for plotting and carrying out the assassination.

However, in 1996, Mujib’s daughter Hasina, – who was abroad when her father was assassinated – was elected prime minister as the leader of the Awami league and soon opened a judicial process against the accused.

Mujib is widely regarded as the “father of the nation” for leading Bangladesh through its independent struggle from Pakistan.

At midnight on March 26, 1971, Mujibur issued a unilateral declaration of independence in a radio message, after years of political activism against alleged linguistic and regional discrimination of East Pakistan – as the region was known at the time – by governments based in Islamabad and rising atrocities by the military.

Following the declaration, a war broke out between pro-independence groups in East Pakistan, and the military of West Pakistan, which ended with the independence of Bangladesh.

Mujib ruled the country as provisional president and later as prime minister with an iron hand, – during a period of high political and civil unrest – until his death.

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