Five killers of Bangladesh’s founding father hanged (Second Lead)January 28th, 2010 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, Jan 28 (IANS) Nearly 35 years after Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated, five army officers who were among those convicted for the killing were hanged at Dhaka Central Jail Thursday, bringing to an end a long manhunt and the quest for justice of Mujib’s daughter, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The five condemned prisoners - Lieutenant Colonels Syed Farook Rahman, Shahriar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed, A.K.M. Mohiuddin and Major Bazlul Huda - were walked to the gallows shortly after midnight.
Two hangmen put nooses around their necks. At 12.05 a.m. Dhaka Jail Superintendent Touhidul Islam dropped a handkerchief to signal the hangmen who then pulled the levers. Sultan Shahriar and Farooq were kept hanging for half an hour to confirm their deaths, witnesses were quoted as saying.
At 12:35 a.m., two other killers - A.K.M. Mohiuddin and Bazlul Huda - were brought to the gallows. They were also executed. Then it was the turn of Mohiuddin Ahmed. He was brought to the gallows at 1.05 a.m.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman - known as Bangabandhu - his wife, three sons and two daughters-in-law were killed in a bloody putsch led by serving and former army officers Aug 15, 1975.
Two of the officers - Syed Farooq Rahman and Shahriar Rashid Khan - were arrested in August 1996.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Mohammed Tafazzul Islam Wednesday dismissed their review petitions against the verdict confirming their death sentence, clearing the way for their executions.
“Sultan Shahriar Rashid and Syed Farooq Rahman were the first to walk to the gallows at 12.05 a.m. They were handcuffed and their heads were covered in black hoods in the final minutes to midnight,” Dhaka Deputy Commissioner Zillar Rahman told The Daily Star.
As the news spread that Bangabandhu’s killers would be hanged, hundreds of people began to gather outside the jail. Members of Rapid Action Battalion, police and armed police battalion were deployed around the prison.
Before the hanging, the prisoners were bathed around 11 p.m. Half an hour later, the civil surgeon and two other doctors conducted their medical check-up before leading them to the gallows. After it was all over, the bodies of the five former army officers were sent to their villages in five ambulances under police protection.
Chief State Counsel Anisul Huq said Wednesday the jail authorities could execute the five detained convicts any time before Jan 31. As per the jail code provision, the authorities could execute a convict between 21 and 28 days after a trial court issued a death warrant against him, he added.
Hasina had ignored a plea by Amnesty International, a US-based human rights watchdog, that the death sentences be converted to life imprisonment. On Nov 19 last year, the apex court confirmed death sentences to a dozen ex-army personnel, including the five.
Of the seven others, one died and six are on the run. The government has moved the Interpol and the governments in the US, Canada, Libya and Pakistan to get their custody.
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- Mujib killers' review petitions dismissed - Jan 27, 2010
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- Five killers of Bangladesh founder executed - Jan 28, 2010
- Bangladesh president rejects Mujib killers' mercy petitions - Jan 19, 2010
- Don't execute Mujib killers, Amnesty tells Dhaka - Nov 22, 2009
Tags: appellate division, army officers, central jail, daughters in law, deputy commissioner, farooq, father sheikh, founding father, gallows, huda, lieutenant colonels, manhunt, minister sheikh hasina, minutes to midnight, mohiuddin ahmed, mujib, putsch, rashid khan, sheikh mujibur rahman, zillar