|Posted by Amra Mujib Shena on May 6, 2011 at 12:59 AM||comments (0)|
জাতির জনক বঙ্গবন্ধু সকল বির্তকের উর্ধ্বে ।আসুন এই অবিনাশী চেতনায় সকলে ঐক্যবদ্ধ হই, রুখে দাড়াই সকল অপকর্ম, দুর্নীতি, কুটকৌশল, কুসংস্কার, হীন ও দৈন্যতার বিরুদ্ধে, ঐক্যবদ্ধভাবে গড়ে তুলি সুখী সমৃদ্ধ সোনার বাংলাদেশ। যেখানে থাকবেনা দারিদ্র্যতার হিংস্র থাবা, থাকবে না মানুষে মানুষে ভেদাভেদ, হিংসা বিদ্বেষ,ভাইয়ে ভাইয়ে হানাহানি, পরনিন্দা, পরচর্চার হীন মনোবৃত্তি । থাকবে না ক্ষমতা দখলের জন্যে সেনাবাহিনীর কামানের হুংকার, থাকবে না অস্ত্রের ঝনঝনানি, থাকবে না ক্ষমতার লোভ লালসা, থাকবে না স্বাধীনতা ও সার্বভৌমত্বকে প্রভূর হাতে সমর্পণের হীন চক্রান্ত। থাকবে না ধর্মের নামে জঙ্গিবাদের অবাধ লীলা খেলা ভন্ডামী আর প্রতারণার রাজনীতি করে বিএনপি জামাত। যাদের তলপি তলপা বলতে কিছু নেই, তারাই বড় বড় কথা বলে, অজু ছাড়াই 'বিসমিল্লাহ্" বলে ধর্ম প্রিয় মুসলমানের সেন্টিমেন্টে আঘাত করে। জিয়া নিজে বঙ্গবন্ধুর খুনীদের এবং ৭১ এর ঘাতক দালাল নরপশুদের পুনর্বাসন করে গেছে। ইতিহাস থেকে মুছে ফেলেছে জাতির জনকের নাম এবং মহান স্বাধীনতায় তাঁর অবদানের কাহিনী। আজ ২০/২৫ বছরের যুবক জানে না ' কে ছিলেন বঙ্গবন্ধু?' আজ আমাদের নতুন করে প্রজন্মকে বলতে হচ্ছে স্বাধীনতার স্বঠিক ইতিহাস। কেন? এ সকল হীন চক্রান্তের নটরাজ ছিলো জিয়াউর রহমান। আজ কত বড় লজ্জার কথা যে জিয়া বঙ্গবন্ধুর অনুমতি ছাড়া সামনের চেয়ারে বসার সাহস পায়নি, সেই জিয়া মার্কিন সি আই এ এবং পি আই এস আই'র ছত্রছায়ায় বাঙ্গালী জাতির হাজার বছরের ইতিহাস পালটে দিয়েছে। সার্বভৌমত্বের গায়ে এঁকে দিয়েছে কলংকের কালিমা। আর তাঁর বিধবা চরিত্রহীনা বিড়ংগনা স্ত্রী সমাজের সব চেয়ে ঘৃণ্য পশু রাজাকার আল বদর নিয়ে দিনের পর দিন, বছরের পর বছর জঙ্গিদের সাথে তাল মিলিয়ে ইসলামের নামে ধ্বংস লীলায় মেতে উঠেছে। যারা ধর্মের ভুল ব্যাখ্যা দিয়ে মানুষকে প্রতারণা করে তারা কাফীর।
Bangabandhu – A Name that Goes with Eternity
By Sajjad khan.
Embracing Bangabandhu at the Algiers Non-Aligned Summit in 1973, Cuba’s Fidel Castro remarked, “I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas.”
This Sheikh Mujib is not just a mere individual or a name. He in an institution. A movement. A revolution. An upsurge. A tidal boar. A Lenin, a Mao, a Netaji, a Gandhi, a Fidel, a Kemal… He is the essence of epic, poetry and history. He is the architect of a nation – the Bengali Nation. He is Bangabandhu – friend of Bengalis.
The history of Bengali Nation goes back a thousand years. That is why contemporary history has recognised him as the greatest Bengali of the thousand years. The future will call him the idol of eternal time. And he will live, in luminosity of a bright star, in annals of historical legends. He will show the path to the Bengali Nation that his dreams are the basis of the existence of any nation struggling for freedom. A remembrance of him is the culture and the society that Bengalis have sketched for themselves. His possibilities, the promises put forth by him, are the fountain-spring of the civilised existence of the Bengalis.
Bangabandhu’s political life began as a humble worker while he was still a student. He was fortunate to come in early contact with such towering personalities as Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and AK Fazlul Huq, both charismatic Chief Ministers of undivided Bengal. Adolescent Bangabandhu grew up under the gathering gloom of stormy politics as the aging British Raj in India was falling apart and the Second World War was violently rocking the continents. He witnessed the ravages of the war and the stark realities of the great famine of 1943 in which about five million people lost their lives. The tragic plight of the people under colonial rule turned young Bangabandhu into a rebel.
This was also the time when he saw the legendary revolutionaries like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi challenging the British Raj. Also about this time he came to know the works of Bernard Shaw, Karl Marx, Rabindranath Tagore and rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Soon after the partition of India in 1947 it was felt that the creation of Pakistan with its two wings separated by a physical distance of about 1200 miles was a geographical monstrosity. The economic, political, cultural and linguistic characters of the two wings were also different. Keeping the two wings together under the forced bonds of a single state structure in the name of religious nationalism would merely result in a rigid political control and economic exploitation of the eastern wing by the all-powerful western wing which controlled the country’s capital and its economic and military might.
Bangabandhu started his fight against the British colonial overlords and then he directed his wrath against the then Pakistani neo-colonialists. Step by step he prepared his people for their eventual destination. He was in the forefront of mass movements. From his imprisonment in 1949 he gave active support to the formation of the first mass-based opposition political party, the Awami League, under the leadership of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, which subsequently spearheaded the struggle for independence. In the 1954 provincial elections, the Bengalis overwhelmingly voted the Awami League-led United Front to power. The victory was, however, short-lived. In order to maintain their sway and dominance, the rulers in the western wing of Pakistan through coercive means, imposed military rule in 1958. Bangabandhu and other nationalist leaders put up stiff resistance against it and were detained for years together.
In 1961 Bangabandhu was released from jail after he won a writ petition in the High Court. Then he started underground political activities against the martial law regime and dictator Ayub Khan. During this period he set up an underground organisation called “Swadhin Bangia Biplobi Parishad” or Independent Bangia Revolutionary Council, comprising outstanding student leaders in order to work for achieving independent Bangladesh.
Keeping the essence of Swadhin Bangladesh, Bangabandhu placed his historic Six-Points in 1966. He called for a federal state structure for Pakistan and full autonomy for Bangladesh with a parliamentary democratic system. The Six-Points became so popular in a short while that it was turned into the Charter of Freedom for the Bengalis or their Magna Carta. The Army Junta of Pakistan threatened to use the language of weapons against the Six-Point movement and the Bangabandhu was arrested under the Defence Rules on May 8, 1966. To subdue him, Bangabandhu was charged with secession and high treason, which was known as the infamous Agartala Conspiracy Case. But mass people burst into upsurge against his arrest.
With the defeat of Ayub Khan regime in 1969 in a mass-upsurge which led to the unconditional withdrawal Agartala conspiracy case, Bangabandhu had become an undisputed, home grown hero for the Bengali nation. People’s admiration to his unfathomable courage and yearning for his guidance convinced that he was the friend of Bengal. They then start calling him Bangabandhu. The torch of politics Bengali Nation was truly and irreversibly in his hands. He would carry it ahead, undaunted in his determination to transform the destiny of his people to make Shonar Bangla.
Bangabandhu’s finest hour came on 7th March 1971. His historic speech on that day changed the course of the history of struggle for independence in the then Pakistan and gave millions of Bengalis a new sense of direction. Bangabandhu possessed the rare quality of harnessing the awesome power of the masses that overthrew the military regime standing in the way of Bangladesh’s liberation.
He declared in his speech, “The struggle now is the struggle for our emancipation; the struggle now is the struggle for our independence.” In this historic speech, Bangabandhu urged the nation to break the shackles of subjugation and declared, “Since we have given blood, we will give more blood. The people of this country will be liberated Inshallah. He called upon people to turn every house into a fortress with whatever they had to fight the enemy.
He advised the people to prepare themselves for a guerrilla war against the enemy. He asked the people to start a total non-cooperation movement against the government of Yahya Khan. There were ineffectual orders from Yahya Khan on the one hand, while the nation, on the other hand, received directives from Bangabandhu’s Road 32 residence. The entire nation carried out Bangabandhu’s instructions. All institutions, including government offices, banks, insurance companies, schools, colleges, mills and factories obeyed Bangabandhu’s directives. The response of the Bengalis to Bangabandhu’s call was unparallel in history. It was Bangabandhu who conducted the administration of an independent Bangladesh from March 7 to March 25.
Another finest hour for Bangabandhu was when he declared independence of Bangladesh and all-out guerrilla war began against the Pakistani oppressive regime. In his declaration he said, “This may be my last message. From today Bangladesh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangladesh, wherever you are and with whatever you have, to resist the army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation army is expelled from the soil of Bangladesh and final victory is achieved.”
And the victory achieved on the 16th December 1971 – a dream comes true for Bangabandhu. Thousands of people sacrificed their lives in the name of Bangabandhu. It was his political inspiration and moral persuasion that made mass people to embrace martyrdom in Bangabandhu’s name. The quest for his independence became synonymous with his title “Bangabandhu”. And eventually he embraced martyrdom on the 15th August 1975 for the Bengali Nation.
The multifaceted life any great man cannot be put together in language or colour. Bangabandhu was such a great man that he has become greater than his creation. It is not possible to hold him within the confines of picture-frame when his greatness is so unfathomable. He is our emancipation – for today and tomorrow. The greatest treasure of the Bengali nation is preservation of his heritage and sustenance of his legacy. He has conquered death. His memory is our passage to the days that are to be.
[Shazzad Khan works for Manusher Jonno Foundation]
|Posted by Amra Mujib Shena on May 5, 2011 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Bangabandhu and Muktijuddher Chetona
Bangabandhu is not a mere individual. He in an institution, a movement, a revolution, an upsurge. He is the architect of the nation. He is the essence of epic poetry and he is history. This history goes back a thousand years. Which is why contemporary history has recognized him as the greatest Bengali of the past thousand years? The future will call him the superman of eternal time. And he will live, in luminosity reminiscent of a bright star, in historical legends. He will show the path to the Bengali nation his dreams are the basis of the existence of the nation. A remembrance of him is the culture and society that Bengalis have sketched for them. His possibilities, the promises thrown forth by him, are the fountain-spring of the civilized existence of the Bengalis. I feel pain as we could not honor the dead, nor the victims, nor the freedom fighters yet with due solemnity. I feel bad when I find the national leaders questioning the ‘Muktijuddher Chetona”. What a travesty of justice, what a shameful act!! How can we make friendship with those that still refuse to accept their guilt and deny the existence of injustice and atrocities of 1971? How can we not ask them to solicit mercy and forgiveness for their crime against mankind? A crime is a crime. It cannot be ignored with the lapse of time. Lord Cromwell was tried from his dead and the Nazis of World War II are still being sought after. The Nazis and the KKK are barred from getting elected in democratic societies. We must not condone a criminal or his crime, nor should we give shelter to criminals. We can only forgive them provided they ask for forgiveness and mercy---there is no alternatives known to me. Those who believe in Islam know that even the Almighty Allah will not forgive those who have committed crimes against His creatures unless they forgive them first. Therefore, unless they solicit mercy and forgiveness and confess their guilt publicly, they must not be forgiven. If a group or a person forgive them for group or personal interest, then they share the same loathe and disdain of our dead. They cannot be our heroes nor can they be the torchbearers for our future generations. Muktijuddher Chetona is very simple and pure. It stands for justice and fair play in human relations. It abhors racism, intolerance, dehumanization discrimination and communalism that the occupation force represented. It seeks equity in society and equal opportunities for all. It upholds democratic values; after all the 1971 war was fought to ensure democracy and economic emancipation. Can we therefore forget Muktijuddher Chetona?
|Posted by Amra Mujib Shena on May 5, 2011 at 1:15 PM||comments (1)|
269,000 people died in Bangladesh war, says new study
LONDON: As many as 269,000 people died during the war leading to the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, nearly five times more than the previously estimated figure, a new study says.
The study, titled 'Fifty years of violent war deaths from Vietnam to Bosnia: analysis of data from the world health survey programme', published in the British Medical Journal said "war causes more deaths than previously estimated, and there is no evidence to support a recent decline in war deaths".
Earlier estimates of casualties during the Bangladesh war were in the region of 58,000, the study noted.
The objective of the survey was to provide an accurate estimate of deaths in wars. The study analysed estimated deaths from war injuries in 13 countries over 50 years, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Is 3 million martyrs a myth?
The Mathematics of a Genocide
Pic: Dumped dead bodies: victims of Pakistani holocaust
President Yahya said, "Kill three million of them and the rest will eat out of our hands". (Robert Payne, Massacre, The Tragedy of Bangladesh and the Phenomenon of Mass Slaughter Throughout History; P50; New York, Macmillan, 1973)
A few Neo-Razakars and some Pakistanis are in the devious game again. They are trying to sow the seed of doubt in the minds of new generation of Bangalees about the severity of 1971 Genocide. One of these Neo-Razakars even had the audacity to say that only about few hundred thousand (150 000 - 250 000) people were killed in Bangladesh. We know why these people are suddenly active again when the Bangladesh election is just a month away. One Pakistani even said that it is nearly impossible for the 90 000 Pakistani soldiers to kill 3 million Bangladeshis in just 9 months time. Let us do some calculations to refute their well design plan. Let us take our calculator and do some calculations based on international data. We shall do this calculation and compare that with those of Cambodia, another land of genocide.
In 1981, UN's declaration of Universal Human Rights writes; "Among the genocides of human history, the highest number of people killed in lower span of time is in Bangladesh in 1971. An average of 6000 (six thousand) to 12 000 (twelve thousand) people were killed every single day..........This is the highest daily average in the history of genocide's." The occupation army of Pakistan committed this holy act for an approximate period of 260 days (from the night of 25 March,1971 to their surrender on the 16th. December, 1971). Using UN's figures multiply them with 260 days. What figures do we get? Please take a calculator and check this one out.
(1) Lower limit of Bangalee killed = 6 000 x 260 = 1 560 000 (1.56 million) Higher limit of Bangalee killed = 12 000 x 260 = 3 120 000 (3.12 million) We can take an average value of 2 340 000 (2.34 million)
(2) In 1971 there were around 75 million people in Bangladesh. The average size of a Bangalee family was around 5 (five) at that time. Divide 75 million by 5 which gives 15 million families in Bangladesh in 1971. Number killed per family = 0.16 (2.34 million divided by 15 million) Number of families affected with at least one family member killed = 6.4 (15 million divided by 2.34 million).
This is 42.7% (6.4 multiplied by 100 and divided by 15) of families. For simplicity, let us use a round figure of 40%. This means that 40% of Bangalee families were affected with the loss of at least one family member. Of course, there were thousands of families where the loss of family members was more than one. In many cases, the entire family excepting a lone survivor was wiped out. If these facts are taken in to consideration then the average percentage affected (40%) will change.
(3) Numbers killed by each Pakistani soldier = 26 persons (2.34 million divided by 90 000 soldiers) in 260 days. I have excluded the Razakars who joined the Pakistani soldiers later. An approximate number of Razakars will be around 50,000 to 60,000 or may be more. No one knows the real data). Do your own calculations if you want to include the Razakars.
(4) Numbers killed by each Pakistani soldier per day is 0.1 person. (26 divided by 260).
That is, one Pakistani soldier killed at least one Bangalee in every ten days. Is that an impossible job? Are these numbers unbelievable? The 3 million people killed by the Pakistani soldiers is not at all impossible. The above calculations clearly demonstrate this fact. That was exactly what happened in Bangladesh. In fact, the September 1972 issue of National Geographic clearly writes that more than 3 million people were killed in Bangladesh. This fact was revealed almost after a year of the carnage. Therefore, the records are surely more authentic and free from bias.
Let us now look in to another genocide, which has no match in human history. This is the genocide by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Official figure of genocide toll is 1.7 million (many sources quote a figure of around 2 million. But let us work with the 1.7 million figure). This was not done in 260 days (like Pakistani soldiers) but within a period of Khmer Rouge rule of 4 (four) years (from 1975 to 1979). Cambodia's population in 1970 was 6.94 million and its population in 1988 was 7.87 million. The average population growth in Cambodia can be taken as 2.3% (Source: Book of Vital World statistics; by The Economist Books (page 16). Published by Hutchinson Business books Ltd. London, 1990). Using this population growth rate we can calculate the following. The population of Cambodia in 1974 (genocide year) would have been around 7.6 million (1.023 raised to the power of 4 then multiplied by 6.94 million). Number of Cambodians killed = 1.74 million. Therefore, % of population killed = 22.8% (in Cambodia) % of population killed in Bangladesh = 4% (using the 3 million figure) I do not have the data for the average family size in Cambodia. So, using the same assumption as in Bangladesh (5 members per family). Numbers of families in Cambodia in 1974 = 1.52 million Numbers of people killed per family in Cambodia in 1974 = 1.14 Number of people killed per day (for 4 years) = 1192
Now, let us assume that the Khmer rouge squeezed the time of killing to 260 days instead of 4 years. Then the number of people killed per day (in 260 days) would have been around 7000 (seven thousand per day). This figure is not very far off from the daily killings in Bangladesh.
We can conclude the following
The figure 3 million is not a pie in the sky figure. It is quite an accurate estimate of the people killed in Bangladesh in 1971. 90,000 Pakistani soldiers can and did kill the 3 million Bangalees in approximately 9 months time. It was not an impossible task as suggested by some Pakistani. In terms of severity and the density of people killed per family, the Cambodian genocide is far worse than Bangladesh genocide. (1.14 per family in Cambodia vs.0.16 per family in Bangladesh). In reality, the density of killing in Cambodia was about 7 times more ferocious than in Bangladesh. Approximately 40% families in Bangladesh lost at least one family member. Every family in Cambodia lost more than one family member. In terms of speed of killing, Bangladesh genocide is the worst in history. An average of 9000 (mean of 6 000 and 12 000 of the U.N figure) people killed per day for 260 days versus approximately 1200 people killed per day (for 4 years) in Cambodia. The big difference between the Bangladesh genocide and the Cambodian genocide was this. Cambodia set up a People's Revolutionary Tribunal in August 1979 to try Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. They were tried in absentia (at least). This was the first genocide trial based on UN policy. No such trial ever took place in Bangladesh. Do our politicians have the guts to do what the humble Cambodians did for justice? To my mind, the answer is simply 'no'. All our politicians are impotent. They are still hooked on 'Islamic brotherhood.� The people must revolt and establish their own tribunal to bring justice. This tribunal should also try our impotent, gutless politicians for failing to deliver justice when they were in power. Is this possible in Bangladesh?
The gratuitous and wanton killing of astronomical number of unarmed Bangalees by marauding soldiers of Pakistan should not go unpunished. We ask the International Tribune on Human Rights to look into this crime against humanity seriously and do the needful. Some of the officers are still in theirs sixties and seventies. Time is running out. Some of these killers are respectable citizens of Pakistan who are collecting their pension sitting in the comfort of their home. These killers should be apprehended and bring to International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands.
THE NUMBER-GAME OF 3 MILLION.
The number-game has popped up again about our martyrs of 1971. While there are killer Maolanas and corrupt politicians (almost al of ours) to play with this, I prefer not to take any NFB-writer as any of them. While trust on our writers is important, distortion or simply presentation of information has profound impact on the result. Far from being a musician I am trying to clarify this with basic music-math, to address an accredited musician-writer in his language of mind (mine too!).
One change of NISHAD from “KOMOL” to “SHUDDHO” changes Malkosh to Chondrokosh, an altogether different Raag with complete different taste. One change of “KOMOL GANDHAR” to “SHUDDHO GANDHAR” changes Bagesree to Ragesree, again a very different Raag with different taste. Small changes in Raag Mollar create Meghmollar, Surmollar, Notmollar, Mia-Ki-Mollar, Ramdashi-Mollar (there are others, don’t remember now) etc, all with very different impressions and impacts. Inclusion of NISHAD to Raag Abhog transforms it to Bagesree, exclusion of KORhI-MA (MA as a whole) could not stop Bhupali from being included in the KOLLYAN-THAAT.
Without any note-change, if the SA of Bhupali is shifted to its own PA, then the Sargam changes from SA RE GA PA DHA SA to SA RE MA PA DHA SA, which is nothing but Raag Durga, again with a very different impact. EVEN WITHOUT ANY CHANGE OF NOTES (information), ONLY DIFFERENT MOVEMENT (presentation) OF THE TUNE CHANGES RAAG DARBARI TO JOUNOPURI, AND RAAG BHUPALI TO DESHKAAR. Please correct if this non-musician is wrong.
The spirit of 1971 has been victimized form all the angles of the examples given above, by our own people. So the spirit did the very right thing, it just evaporated. The recent number-game of 3-million resulted in confusion in people’s mind. We do have figures from World Bank, foreign Universities, Newspapers and other establishments like National Geographic, even from the UN-Human Rights Department, ranging from 0.25 to 3 million, thanks to Mukto-Mona, (NOT so called “Murkho-Mona”, Sir! Let us break the nasty prison of name-calling and get out of it, all of us.) That is a huge span, never academically addressed. These figures, though from accredited institutions, do not enjoy the support of any documented research in our vast villages.
Without any backing of formal research and survey, “3-million” always remained vulnerable though it went unchallenged for many years and got its wide acceptability. Nobody, except a character of Humayun Ahmed’s TV-Drama, took the initiative of such an important follow up of number-count of our genocide. Now as the wind has changed its direction, there are innocent academic / ill-motivated efforts to verify / challenge it. We must realize that it is only natural, unless our Govt. gives the job to an International Institution (Uuuups! His Excellency The Mottya-Razakar & Co. is right there sitting in our Parliament!). Now we can only speculate, “debate” endlessly, and get more confused about the seriousness of the genocide. Keeping in mind that the criminals of 1971 and their supporters want that, the only healthy way left for us now is to take “3 Million” as not an absolute but as an arbitrary number, because we need a number to address the issue of genocide. ALL NUMBERS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE, WE DO USE ARBITRARY NUMBERS EXTENSIVELY ALL THE TIME IN OUR LIVES.
In the Qura’an when God changes his oneness to plurality, uses “WE” or “US” for Himself, the expression is only “SHOMMANARTH-E BOHUBOCHON”, He is still one. When the young Prince criss-crosses Seven Seas and Thirteen Rivers in search of the life-bird of the demon, he only travels from horizon to horizon. When we pardon “SHAAT KHOON” of our dear ones, we never mean seven killings. “PONCHO BYANJON” may not be exactly five dishes; “PONCHOBOTI” may have fifty “Bot”-trees. “SHOPTODINGA” is only one huge boat. “DOSH NEKI” or “SOTTOR SAWAB” is far from real numbers. “SHOPTO ASMAN” does not exist at all. There are not seven but twelve different notes in each “SHOPTOK” of a harmonium or keyboard, “CHALSHE” also may happen before or after 40 years of age. You could buy “ASHEE” mangoes in fifties in the mango market, which was really a hundred, and during the ”NEEL”-time of British Bengal the ignorant peasants actually had to pay 25 bundles of their produce to meet the “KURhI” of the system. “3 million” today is like the existence of god. If one does not believe in it, there are “proofs”. If one believes in it, there are stronger “proofs”. While it is so, in the absence of a Judge why must we be lost in this endless debate where none but only the killers win?
I repeat, we need a number to address the issue of 71’s genocide. We may get an all-acceptable number if and when the criminals will be dragged to the court and a formal investigation will be done. Until then our best option is to regard “3 million” as not an absolute but an arbitrary number.
Pakistan Army has killed missionary’s people in 1971
The Pakistani ruling elite always considered the Hindus in East Pakistan as enemies and agents of India. During their nine-month long deadly crackdown in 1971, West Pakistani soldiers not only demolished many Hindu temples, but also killed a sizable number of Hindu priests, besides Hindu intellectuals, influential persons and common folks in different parts of the eastern wing of the country.
Comparatively, Christians did not suffer that much death and destruction as suffered by the Hindus. Yet, they were not totally spared. In certain pockets of East Pakistan, death and destruction visited them as well. In many mission church and school compounds, internal refugees –Hindus, Muslims and Christians — fleeing West Pakistani military crackdown and barbarity had taken shelter. They were fed and clothed. In this process, a good number of local priests and foreign missionaries — both Catholic and Protestant — faced threats and harassment from the West Pakistani military personnel.
Three Catholic priests — two foreign and one East Pakistani — were brutally killed, too. They were:
• Father William P. Evans, C.S.C. (1919 – 1971):
Father William P. Evans, C.S.C., killed on November 23, 1971, was an American priest and missionary, belonging to the Congregation of Holy Cross. After coming to East Pakistan, he served at different capacities in various Catholic parish churches and, one time, at the Bandura Little Flower Seminary. Finally, he was the parish priest of Golla Catholic Church in Nawabganj Upazilla of Dhaka District.
Although he was a foreigner, he loved the Bangalis dearly and empathized with them and their aspirations. He aided many internal refugees and gave moral support to the muktijuddhas (fredom fighters) of the locality. West Pakistani army personnel in that area was aware of his support of the freedom fighters.
On November 13, 1971, as usual once a week, he was going by a boat to offer Mass at Bakshanagar Village, a mission station a few kilometres away from Golla. As his boat was passing by the army camp at Nawabganj, the soldiers signaled the boat to make a stoppage at the camp. When the boat reached the shore, soldiers grabbed Father Evans and struck him so hard with the rifle butt that he fell on the ground. His body was bayonated several times and ultimately he was killed with two bullets. Then they threw his corpse into the river that carried it several kilometres downstream.
Ordinary people recovered his body and brought it to Golla Church compound. Thousands of Catholics, Muslims and Hindus of the area came to pay their last respect to this holy man before his burial at the church graveyard.
Father Evans’ innate smiling face, love of people, humility, humour, and empathy drew people of all faiths to him. He was called a “holy man.” Till now, many people visit his grave.
In the Little Flower Seminary at Bandura in the early 60′s, he was our rector. From time to time, he used to give us writing assignments in English and after checking them would give his comments. On my assignment sheets, he would often remark: “Short sentences, but complete thought. Keep up the good work.” My later journalism and writing career in life was the result of his inspiration.
Father Evans has been honoured in different ways in Bangladesh. The Tribeni Chhatra Kallyan Sangha (youth organization) in 1972 started to give “Father Evans Scholarship” to poor but excelling students. In 1973, this organization had also started “Father Evans Memorial Football Tournament”. Later Shurid Sangha (another youth organization) in old Dhaka started its annual “Shaheed Father Evans Memorial Basketball Competition” among different youth organizations.
Source: Bangladeshey Catholic Mondoli (The Catholic Church in Bangladesh)
by Jerome D’Costa (Dhaka: Pratibeshi Prakashani, 1986), pp.302-303
• Father Mario Veronesi, S.X. (1912 – 1971):
After West Pakistani military started their crackdown on the East Pakistanis (now Bangladesh) from March 25, 1971 onwards, many people of all faiths began to take refuge in church compounds — both Catholic and Protestant. In Jessore town, a number of such people took shelter in the church compound where Father Mario Veronesi, an Italian Xaverian priest and missionary, was the parish priest.
On April 4, 1971 it was the Palm Sunday. Father was taking care of the internal refugees who had taken shelter in his church compound. When the soldiers with their rifles and sub-machine guns entered the compound and were proceeding towards the building, Father Veronesi came out to meet them with his raised hands. He had a large red cross badge on his chest because there was also the Fatima Hospital adjacent to the place. The soldiers immediately started to fire at him and the building. He got bullets in his chest and died there. The soldiers then entered the church and shot and killed four of the refugees.
Initially, he was buried in Jessore. Later his body was taken to Shimulia Catholic Church compound and re-buried near the grave of another Italian Xaverian missionary Father Valerian Cobbe, S.X., who was killed on October 14, 1974 by robbers.
After the independence of Bangladesh in December, 1971, a Muslim student, named Ismail Hossain, wrote a letter to Father Valerian Cobbe and paid tribute to Father Mario Veronesi: “At last we have achieved independence and freedom! We rejoice and thank God and ask him to help our nation progress and live in tranquility. The memory of so many victims is the thing that saddens us most and gives us great pain. The best members of our society have died. Father Mario Veronesi is among these martyrs of our independence. We feel very proud of him: he paid the highest price for our independence!”
This 58-year-old Italian was a priest for 28 years, 19 of which he spent in East Pakistan. He worked in various capacity in different parish churches under the Diocese of Khulna. He is best remembered for working for the upliftment of the poor.
• Father Lucas Marandi (1922 – 1971):
Father Lucas Marandi, belonging to the local Santal ethnic group, was a diocesan priest for 18 years under the Diocese of Dinajpur, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). In 1971, he was the parish priest of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church at Ruhea in Thakurgaon District. He had a strong patriotic feeling for his country when the West Pakistani army began their bloody crackdown on the East Pakistani on March 25, 1971.
Thousands upon thousands of East Pakistanis in various districts and localities were fleeing the merciless attacks of the West Pakistani soldiers. Many were taking refuge in different border districts of India.
Father Marandi received the news that four Catholic mission centres of the Diocese of Dinajpur were abandoned after the military plunderings. In the Ruhea area itself, most of the members of the minority groups and many Muslims left their abodes and fled to nearby India. His parishoners, through messengers, were appealing him time and again to leave Ruhea and join them in India.
Finally, Father Marandi decided to move. He got the church bullock cart loaded with the parish archives and his personal belongings. He told the cart driver to move towards the border that was marked by the shallow Nagor River, six miles ( kilometres) away. He then reached the riverbank on his motor cycle.
When the cart reached the designated spot, the cart and he himself on the motor cycle crossed the river together. On reaching the Indian side of the river bank, he turned toward the Ruhea Church and kept on looking intently for quite some time. His companions could realize that something ominous was going on in his mind. When someone told him to make a move towards India, Father Marandi turned toward him and said gravely: “No, it has all been a mistake! Let’s go back to Ruhea!” He then crossed the river and started to return to his church.
Father Lucas Marandi was all alone in the Ruhea church compound except a few Catholics living nearby. After three days, on April 21, 1971, a West Pakistani army jeep pulled up at the priest’s residence. Father greeted them and offered them tea and biscuits. They then left for the north. He felt quite relieved of his tension, but temporarily. After three hours the jeep returned.
Father Marandi came out again, but the soldiers pushed him inside his residence and started to torture him for the next 15 minutes or so. They bayoneted his face beyond recognition. Blood splattered all over the walls. When they left the compound, mortally wounded Father was dying.
A few Catholics who lived nearby rushed in to see what had happened. Seeing his grave condition, they decided to take him to India by the very bullock cart that Father had used earlier. Before reaching the destination, Father Lucas Marandi expired. His corpse was taken to the Catholic Church at Islampur on the Indian side of the border where he is still buried.
Sooner they left the church compound then a bunch of local looters appeared and ransacked the church and priest’s residence and carried away everything available.
Source: Catholic Beginnings in North Bengal by Father Luigi Pinos, P.I.M.E.
(Saidpur: Catholic Church, 1984), pp.26-27)
These three priests are the testimonies of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the ferocious and brutal West Pakistani soldiers.
Used with permission from Jerome D’Costa:
|Posted by Amra Mujib Shena on May 4, 2011 at 5:24 AM||comments (0)|
মুজিবীয় শুভেচ্ছা । @ Shafiqul Islam ভাই, Omer Salim ভাই, Mukti ভাই, Mrs. Parveen Huda, Ratan Dada, Bari ভাই, Mr.Sabbir, Mr.A H Jewel, Mr, Habib, Mr. Shane ভাই, Mr. Shahidul Alam ভাই, Mr. Jahangir Alam, Mr.Roony & Mr. Najiullah -গন যখন fb তে কিছু লিখেন তা যখন পড়ি তখন আমার দেহে ভিন্ন রকম শিহরন অনুভূত হয় । অসাধারন অনুভূতি । ১৯৭৪ সনে এ মাসেই কুমিল্লার এক পাড়াগাঁয়ে আমার জন্ম । মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ইতিহাস মায়ের মুখে শুনেছি । রিক্সা , ভ্যান চালক / স্কুটার চালক / পান দোকানী / মাছ ধরা জেলেদের মুখে কিছুটা শুনেছি । বিভিন্ন সেমিনারের বক্তাদের কাছেও কিছু শুনেছি । রাজনৈতিক নেতাদের মুখে কিছু শুনেছি । বাস্তবিক অর্থে আমি মনে করি মায়ের মুখে ও সাধারন খেটে খাওয়া মানুষের মুখে শোনা মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ঘটনাবলী আমাকে ভীষন নাঁড়া দেয় । অপপ্রচারকারীদের বিরুদ্ধে আপনাদের যে প্রচেষ্টা তা যেন উৎফুল্লতায় / অতি উৎসাহে বিপথগামী ( হীতে বিপরীত ) না হয় সেদিকে সতর্ক থাকতে হবে । বর্তমান প্রেক্ষাপটে মাটিতে কান পেতে ( টাইলস্ এর ফ্লোরে নয় ) জনগনের আওয়াজ শুনে অতিসন্তপর্নে কথা বলতে হবে এবং বঙ্গবন্ধুর স্বপ্নের সোনার বাংলা গড়ার জন্য নিরলস্ কাজ করে যেতে হবে ( যদিও কতেক মন্ত্রী / এম.পি / উপদেষ্টা / সচিব / আইনজীবি / রাজনৈতিক নেতারা তোষামোদীতে কখন কোথায় কি বলছেন তার লাগাম নেই, কারো কথার সাথে কারো সমন্বয় নেই ) । স্মরণ রাখা উচিৎ BNP জোট সরকারের সীমাহীন দুর্ণীতি / আইন শৃংখলার চরম অবনতির কারনেই এবং হাজার হাজার তৃণমূল মূজিব আদর্শের কর্মীদের সীমাহীন ত্যাগের ফলেই জনগন বাংলাদেশ আওয়ামীলীগকে ভোট দিয়েছে । ভিশন ২০২১ লক্ষ্য নিয়ে জননেএী শেখ হাসিনা'র গৃহীত ব্যাপক সাফল্য ( বিদ্যুৎ উন্নয়নে মহাপরিকল্পনা, জঙ্গী দমন, নির্দলীয় প্রশাসন ব্যবস্থা, বিচার বিভাগে স্বাধীনতা, যুদ্ধাপরাধীদের বিচার প্রক্রিয়া, প্রযুক্তির ব্যবহারে খাদ্য নিরাপওা বাড়ানো , অর্থনৈতিক প্রবৃদ্ধি বৃদ্ধি, বৈদেশিক বিনিয়োগ পরিবেশ সৃষ্টি, যথাসময়ে পাঠ্যবই বিতরন......ইত্যাদি ) যেন ২/১ টা বালখিল্য আচরনে জনমনে বিভ্রান্তি সৃষ্টি করতে না পারে সতর্ক থাকা বাঞ্চনীয় । বাঙ্গালী জাতি যেমন আবেগপ্রবন তেমনি বিরাগভাজন করতেও কুন্ঠাবোধ করেনা । মনে রাখতে হবে বঙ্গবন্ধূর মাইয়া শেখ হাসিনা'ই কিন্তু 70 % জনগণের শেষ ভরসা । পৃথিবীর সব ভালগুলো আপনাদের হউক । জয় বাংলা । জয় বঙ্গবন্ধু।
এ কে আজাদ
|Posted by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib on April 25, 2011 at 5:24 AM||comments (0)|
Bangabandhu and Bangladesh
By Muntasir Mamun
The inhabitants of Bangladesh had dreamt of a free land for long. Many individuals had sought to materialise this dream in the past. Many had spoken about that land during the first forty years of the last century. That plan was once again drawn during the partition of India. Moulana Bhashani had spoken about an independent territory for the Bangalis during the decade of 1960s. But none could give complete shape to that dream. That dream was finally realized on 16 December 1971 under the leadership of a pure Bangali – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was he who could erect for the Bangalis the geographic boundaries of a free state. Bangabandhu, Father of the Nation, or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – in whatever name we may call him – his iconic figure looms large whenever we talk about Bangladesh. That is why; his name has become ingrained in
Our history and because of that we repeatedly reminisce about him. There are numerous claimants to the Bangladesh dream. Many might have dreamt it; many had talked about Bangladesh through signs and gestures; but Sheikh Mujib had completed the task like an architect. Like many others, he also thought of Bangladesh, but preparations for the purpose
Continue up to 1971.
Moulana Bhashani had also spoken about Bangladesh in open forums. But his role was negligible in this field. However, all those dreams and speeches had prepared the people. Journalist Abdul Matin had written in his autobiography: “He met Mujib one day at noon during the military rule of Ayub Khan. Sheikh Saheb said that he did not care Ayub Khan. He knew the minds of the people. After remaining silent for a few moments, he talked about using the Agartala case in the anti-Ayub movement”. It can be said in this context that the Agartala conspiracy case might not have been fully cooked up.
That dark gentleman had emerged from the very midst of our rural paddy culture. His heart was vast like nature itself, and he wanted to cover the Bangalis with that – the whole of Bangladesh. The Bangalis had repaid that gesture as long as he lived. One day on 27 March 1971, a Major suddenly told the Bangalis to snatch freedom and they jumped for that – the Bangalis are not made of such stuff. It took a long time to awaken them and it was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who succeeded in doing that. Consequently, whether one likes it or not, can there be any option other than calling him the ‘architect of our freedom’? And it was not that Sheikh Mujib became ‘Bangabandhu’ overnight in 1970 and ‘Father of the Nation’ all of a sudden in 1972.
0It took him three decades to become Bangabandhu. If we consider the period between 1940 and 1974, we shall see that Sheikh Mujib became Bangabandhu and Father of the Nation for several reasons. These were: the vastness of his heart, his humanism and tolerance, his appearance, dresses and words; all of these had demonstrated his intention to maintain everlasting bonds with a huge population. Some information and proofs could be obtained about the long-drawn conspiracies of the villains of 1975 for seizing power. Khandakar Mostaque is an example. Evidence of the conspiratorial mentality of this principal villain in our history could be observed even before the liberation war. The frontline leaders of Awami League had visited Bangabandhu at his Dhanmondi residence on 25 March 1971 and asked him to remain cautious. Only Khandakar Mostaque was not seen there. After independence, he lobbied with Dr. Wazed Miah to become Foreign Minister with seniority.
Later, in 1974, Dr. Wazed Mia saw after going to Khandakar Mostaque’s residence that one Major Rashid was going out of the house after secret talks with him.
There has been much debate about the message of Sheikh Mujib broadcast by Mr. Hannan from Chittagong on 26 March 1971. Dr. Wazed Miah had written: “Bangabandhu’s message was in a taped form. After transmitting that message from Dhaka’s Baldah garden, that brave member
of EPR had sought fresh orders by contacting Bangabandhu’s residence over telephone. Bangabandhu then directed the EPR member via Mr. Golam Morshed to leave that place instantly after throwing the transmitter into the pond of Baldah garden.” I shall not go into the debate on whether this information was correct or not. I understand as an ordinary student of history that the country called Bangladesh was founded at the very start of March 1971 and that had happened at the directive of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Professor Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir highlighted this in a very clear and logical manner in his essay titled ‘Accountability of the State’. He wrote: “The 35 directives issued by Sheikh Mujib had laid the ground for all-out noncooperation with the Pakistani state through resistance and rejection of its authority and complete cooperation of the Bangali masses with their administration through establishment of a pro-people authority. ------ The Bangali people had nurtured the thought of becoming the inhabitants of a separate, different and independent state in their bosom, head and heart even before the commencement of the war.” From the 1960s, Bangabandhu had two objectives.
One of those was unambiguous, while another was unclear or something akin to a dream. The clear objective was to build up the Awami League, spread the organization throughout the country and establish a civil society by going to power on Awami League platform. There were infightings within the Awami League, which was natural for a big party. But Sheikh Mujib’s organizational
capacity was unique. He had the two qualities of tolerance and flexibility, which were needed for making the party bigger. I have even seen old people in remote rural areas, whose only possession was a tea-stall, who never got anything from the party, but had never left it after coming to the fold of Awami League at the behest of Sheikh Mujib. There are many more self sacrificing Awami Leaguers in the nooks and corners of Bangladesh, who did not leave the party despite becoming destitute. The leaders, however, do not keep track of them. Besides, Sheikh Mujib had such individuals as his companions, without whose help he might not have achieved his cherished goal. As a result, the Awami League became bigger, expanded after the 6- point movement and simultaneously Sheikh Mujib became the undisputed leader of the masses. He also had tremendous self-confidence and courage. The blossoming of the party had also raised his confidence in himself as well as the people. That was why he could transform the 6-points into a 1-point. And this was his unclear vision or dream. That he was unwavering on the question of this objective and had the necessary courage and confidence for materializing this dream were highlighted during the Agartala conspiracy trial. Fayez Ahmed had written about an incident during this trial. He was sitting beside the main accused Sheikh Mujib. They were not allowed to talk inside the court. Sheikh Mujib tried to draw the attention of Fayez Ahmed a number of
times in order to say something. Fayez Ahmed said, “Mujib Bhai, conversations are not allowed. I can’t turn my head. They will throw me out.” A loud reply came forthwith, “Fayez, one has to talk to Sheikh Mujib if he wants to stay in Bangladesh.” - -------He did not know then that this symbolic utterance by Sheikh Mujib was not meant for any individual person; it was a message for the entire people of a country, which could ignite fire.
Sheikh Mujib returned to the Bangladesh of his dream in 1972. Now his role was not that of a wager of movements. Rather, he played his part in materialising the dream of a Golden Bangla. He worked tirelessly with that objective in mind until 15 August 1975. Reconstruction of the country was in full swing and the Constitution was already framed by that time. The biggest achievement of Bangabandhu and the then Awami League government was to endow the country with a Constitution. I do not know whether there is any other example of a country where it was possible to provide a Constitution so swiftly in the aftermath of such a bloody war. The four core principles of the state were proclaimed through this Constitution, which could have been termed as radical in the context of the then realities. These were: Democracy, Socialism, Secularism and
Nationalism. These principles in fact contained those very ideals for which the liberation war was fought. This was especially true of secularism. That is why the military generals had at the very outset struck at these core principles, especially secularism. Besides, the Constitution described the social, economic and political rights of citizens and the philosophy of the state. In other words, it indicated that the liberation war was waged for establishing a civil society in place of a military-dominated one.
The 1972 Constitution had incorporated the necessary institutions for a civil society; it firmly strove to lay the foundation for a vibrant civil society in Bangladesh. In this context, Bangabandhu had said in one of his speeches: “I do not know whether democracy was initiated immediately after a bloody revolution in any country of the world. ----- Elections have been organised. The right of vote has been expanded in scope by lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Bangladesh’s own aeroplanes are now flying in the skies of different countries; a fleet of commercial ships has also been launched. The BDR is now guarding the borders. The ground forces are ready to repel any attack on the motherland. Our own navy and air-force are now operational. The police force and thanas have been rebuilt, 70 percent of which were destroyed by the Pakistanis. A ‘National Rakkhi Bahini’ has been raised.
You are now the owners of 60 percent of mills and factories. Taxes for up to 25 bighas of land have been exempted. We do not believe in the policy of vengeance and revenge. Therefore, general amnesty has been declared for those who were accused and convicted under the Collaborators’ Act for opposing the liberation war.” But the people were not inclined to appreciate the framing of Constitution, its principles, and the successes of Sheikh Mujib due to rising price of essentials and the law and order situation. Not only was Bangabandhu killed along with his family, the husband of his sister Abdur Rab Serniabat and his nephew (sister’s son) Sheikh Moni were also killed along with their family members. It was quite apparent that intense hatred had worked behind this; otherwise this kind of brutality could not have been carried out in cold blood. The assumption that if any of the family members survived, then he would come forward to provide leadership was also at work. That this assumption was not unfounded has
been proved subsequently. Bangabandhu’s two daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana
survived as they were staying abroad. Later, Sheikh Hasina became the leader of the Awami League and is now once again waging a struggle to reinforce the civil society. It is clear from the manner in which the Bangabandhu family was assassinated that there were local and international conspiracies and a long time was spent for planning it. The conspirators took risks and that risktaking paid off. A faction of the Awami League led by Khandakar Mostaque was involved in it. It can be cited as evidence that it was during Mostaque’s rule that the four Awami League and national leaders Tajuddin Ahmed, Syed Nazrul Islam, Mansur Ali and Kamruzzaman were killed inside the central jail on 3 November 1975. Saudi Arabia and China recognized Bangladesh immediately after Khandakar Mostaque came to power. Relationships with Pakistan and the USA also improved. Consequently, the theory that foreign powers had a hand in the killings cannot be dismissed outright. Almost three decades after Sheikh Mujib’s killing, the people can once again feel what Sheikh Mujib really was and why he was awarded the title ‘Bangabandhu’. People can realize today that he wanted to raise the stature of the Bangalis, and one way of doing that was to give back the honour to the unarmed people. Whichever parties and persons might have ruled Bangladesh after his murder, his name could not be erased from the minds of the people. That effort still continues. That is because it is evident
today that we got that honour only once, that path was opened for us only once in 1971, when Bangladesh succeeded in ousting all kinds of armed thugs under the leadership of an unarmed Bangali called Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Despite the many flaws and heaps of criticisms levelled against Sheikh Mujib, we should note, just as an opponent of Sheikh Mujib and Awami League – Moudud Ahmed – had written (translator’s translation from Bengali): “The appearance of Sheikh Mujib was the biggest event in the national history of Bangladesh. His burial did not take place through his death. More pragmatic, efficient, capable and dynamic political personalities than Sheikh Mujib might have emerged or may emerge, but it will be very difficult to find someone who has contributed more to the independence movement of Bangladesh and the shaping of its national identity.” He had
endeavoured to uphold the interests of the Bangalis throughout his life and had never compromised until his objectives were attained. That is why the Bangalis gave him the title ‘Bangabandhu’ and ‘Father of the Nation’ out of sheer love and emotion. His lifestyle was like that of an ordinary Bangali of eternal Bengal; that is why he could so intensely connect with the ordinary people and their communities. He possessed all the attributes of an ordinary Bangali.
But his love for his people and country was extraordinary, almost blind. He used to say: “My strength is that, I love human beings. My weakness is that, I love them too much.” The position of Bangabandhu vis-à-vis other doers in the civil society of Bangladesh will become clear if the events of 1971 and 1971-75 are analysed. It is impossible to write the history of pre and post-independence Bangladesh without mentioning him. The names of two great Bangalis will remain forever shining in the minds of the Bangalis. One is Rabindranath Thakur and the other is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. One had shaped the Bengali language and wrote the national anthem of Bangladesh. The other materialised the age-old dream of the Bangalis by helping create an independent territory called Bangladesh for an entire nation. I feel proud for this, and my posterity will also be so. The names ‘Bangali’ and ‘Bangladesh’ will continue to live on. And that is why Anandashankar Ray had written:
“As long as the Padma, Meghna, Gouri, Jamuna flows on,
Your accomplishment will also live on, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”
Translation: Helal Uddin Ahmed
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members apart, a number of people were murdered in three separate incidents on August 15, 1975, but no effective move has yet been made to bring the guilty to justice. Disgruntled army personnel killed Sheikh Mujib's nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, founding chairman of Awami Jubo League, and wife Arzu Moni at their Dhanmondi home. Mujib's brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, former water resources minister, was murdered at his Minto Road house. A mortar attack by a group of army men killed 14 other people in Mohammadpur, taking the death count to 34 on that fateful day. Three murder cases, separate from the killing of Bangabandhu, were filed in 1996, but they are still on the back burner. Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said he was unaware of the present status of the three cases. Those were the home ministry's concern, he added. Despite several attempts, Home Minister Sahara Khatun or State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku could not be reached yesterday for comment on the issue.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said he would take steps to get the cases disposed of.
Alam said he would soon ask the government to provide him with necessary documents to revive the cases. All cases involving the August 15 killings should be disposed of -- to bring the perpetrators to book, said the attorney general. In January, five condemned killers of the father of the nation were executed after a Supreme Court verdict in the Bangabandhu murder case filed in October 1996.
SHEIKH MONI KILLING
A band of 25 to 30 army men surrounded Sheikh Moni's house-170 on Road 13/1 in Dhanmondi at around 1:30am on August 15, 1975. Carrying Sten gun and Chinese rifle, eight to ten of them in black uniform went up to the first floor and got down after firing shots. Moni's close aide Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was on the ground floor, went upstairs and saw Moni and his wife Arzu lying on the floor in a critical condition. Moni's parents, younger sister Sheikh Rekha and brother Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were sobbing. Sheikh Maruf, younger brother of Moni, turned up there. Arzu cried to Selim for help and asked him to save them and their two sons -- Sheikh Fazle Shams Porosh and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh. Shahabuddin, Selim and Maruf took Sheikh Moni and Arzu to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital where the doctors declared them dead, read the statement of the murder case filed by Shahabuddin with Dhanmondi Police Station on November 20, 1996. Sixteen people including former deputy minister Taheruddin Thakur were made accused in the case. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) gave the final report in the case on August 22, 2002 and had it dismissed in secrecy, ignoring the legal bindings. The Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on December 30, 2002 accepted the final report and acquitted all accused without notifying the complainant. Neither the investigation officer nor the court concerned informed the complainant about the fate of the probe.
A group of army personnel led by Maj Shahriar Rashid, Maj Aziz Pasha, Capt Majed and Capt Nurul Huda stormed Serniabat's residence on 27 Minto Road at about 5:00am.
They went up to the first floor and broke the door. Confused, Serniabat made a phone call to the residence of Bangabandhu. The army officials rounded up the residents at the drawing room on the ground floor. Shahriar and Majed fired shots at them. Frightened Beauty Serniabat caught hold of her father Abdur Rab Serniabat. Shahriar Rashid, Aziz Pasha and Nurul Huda fired shots again and left the scene. Abdur Rab Serniabat, his nephew Shaheed Serniabat, daughter Baby Serniabat, son Arif Serniabat, grandson Babu Serniabat, who was four, domestic helps Potka and Laxmir Ma, and Abdur Naim Khan alias Rintu died on the spot. Abul Hasnat Abdullah, son of Abdur Rab Serniabat, survived hiding behind a door. Shahan Ara Begum, wife of Hasnat, her mother-in-law Amena Begum, brother-in-law Abul Khair Serniabat, sisters-in-law Beauty and Rina Serniabat, and domestic helps Rana, Rafiqul Islam, Lalit Das and Golam Mahmud were seriously injured, said the statement of a case filed by Shahan with Ramna Police Station on October 21, 1996. Eighteen people were charged with murder in the case. But the proceedings of the case were stayed by the High Court in November 1999 following a criminal revision filed by Bazlul Huda, one of the accused, against the order of charge framing. The stay order remains in force till date.
MOHAMMADPUR MORTAR ATTACK
Mohammad Ali, a resident on Sher Shah Suri Road 8 area at Mohammadpur, woke up with wounds in his left thigh at about 5:30am. He heard sound of mortar fire.
Hearing cries, he went to a nearby house on Road-9 and found Rezia Begum, wife of the house owner, Musa, and their daughter Nasima dead. He then went to House-196 and 197 on Shahjahan Road in the area where he saw bodies of Habibur Rahman, Anwara Begum, another lady by the same name, Moyful Bibi, Sabera Begum, Abdullah, Rafiqul, Safia Khatun, Shahabuddin, Kasheda, Aminuddin and Honufa Bibi, all killed in mortar fire. Later he came to know that 14 people had been killed in Mohammadpur by mortar shells fired by a group of military personnel. He also learned that Bangabandhu and most of his family members were dead, Ali said in the statement of a case he filed with Mohammadpur Police Station on November 29, 1996 accusing Syed Farooq Rahman and 10 others. The case remains pending with the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court in Dhaka.