Bangladesh High Court restores independence hero’s honour

July 28th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, July 28 (DPA) The high court in Bangladesh has upheld the declaration of a public holiday Aug 15 commemorating the killing of former president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by rebel troops, justice ministry officials said Monday. Mujib’s family members, including his wife and three sons, were also gunned down by the soldiers who stormed their residence in 1975 in the capital.

Mujib was stripped of his constitutional title of Father of the Nation, and his three-year-old secular government was overthrown by a right-wing Islamist clique that wanted to establish Islamic rule in the newborn country.

A High Court spokesman said the bench ruled the cancellation of official mourning for the independence war hero was unlawful and called for the restoration of his constitutional position.

The court order issued at the weekend followed a hearing on a petition by pro-Mujib lawyers challenging a government decision six years ago annulling the observance of the national day of mourning.

The judges unanimously declared that the decision not to keep the national flag at half staff Aug 15 to show respect for the slain president was also illegal.

The officers and soldiers involved in the midnight massacre have been sentenced to death and are in prison awaiting approval by the judiciary of the death penalty.


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