Death warrants issued for five Mujib killers (Lead)

January 3rd, 2010 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Jan 3 (IANS) A Dhaka court Sunday issued death warrants against five former Bangladesh Army officers convicted for killing the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 34 years ago.
District and Sessions Judge Mohammed Abdul Gafur issued the warrants after he received the final verdict of the Supreme Court, the Star Online web site of The Daily Star newspaper reported.

The death warrants were sent in a red envelope to the senior jail superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail, directing him to take necessary steps to execute the convicts - Lt. Col. Syed Farooq Rahman, Lt. Col. Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Maj. Bazlul Huda, Maj. A.K.M. Mohiuddin Ahmed and Lt. Col. Mohiuddin Ahmed - between 21 and 28 days as per the jail code.

The appellate division of the supreme court Nov 19 upheld the death sentences earlier handed down by the high court to a dozen killers, including these five.

Rahman, the country’s first president, was killed along with a score of his family members, relations and political associates in a military-led putsch Aug 15, 1975.

Six of the convicts - Lt.Col. Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Lt.Col. Shariful Haque Dalim, Lt.Col. S.H.M.B. Nur Chowdhury, Lt.Col. A.M. Rashed Chowdhury, Capt Abdul Mazed and Risaldar Mosleuddin Khan - are still on the run, either hiding abroad or evading arrest.

Yet another convict, Lt.Col. Abdul Aziz Pasha, died in June 2001 in Zimbabwe, where he had sought political asylum.

Following confirmation of the assassins’ death sentences by the apex court, the government of Mujib’s daughter, Sheikh Hasina, has moved the governments in the US and Canada, where two of the fugitives are said to be hiding. Libya and Pakistan are two other countries where the fugitives are said to be living.

Sheikh Hasina and her son escaped the carnage as she was in London then.

Dhaka has ignored a plea by US-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International that the convicts be spared death sentence and instead be given life terms.

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