The Bangladesh Police on Tuesday arrested the fugitive former military captain Abdul Majed for the killing of country’s freedom fighter and first Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 45 years after the assassination, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The former Bangladesh army official was arrested by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police from Gabtoli in Dhaka.
Rahman was born on March 17, 1920, and was one of the central figures in Bangladesh’s struggle for independence from Pakistan, which led to the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. He was killed along with many of his family members in a military coup on August 15, 1975 by a group of army officers.
Majed publicly declared his involvement after the killing, and had reportedly been hiding in India for many years. He crossed over into Bangladesh on March 26 through the border in Mymensingh after the coronavirus outbreak, Dhaka Tribune quoted an unidentified official as saying.
The former military captain is one of a dozen defendants whose death sentences were upheld by Bangladesh’s supreme court in 2009, after a trial court had sentenced the group of army officials to death for the assassination of Rahman.
Bangladesh’s law minister Anisul Huq in a video message said the preparations to execute Majeb have begun. Majed does not pose any danger of spreading Covid-19 in the Keraniganj prison, where is lodged, as he is in solitary confinement, he added.
Several other ministers in Bangladesh welcomed Majed’s arrest. Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the arrest was the “biggest gift” for Bangladesh this year, while foreign minister AK Abdul Momen called it a “a good news midst the coronavirus crisis”. “We hope it will be possible to bring back the remaining convicts to face justice in Mujib Year,” he added
Mujib is the father of the current prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, who, with her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, was visiting Germany during the the assassination. They are the only survivors in the family.
In 1998, a Dhaka sessions judge’s court found 15 people guilty and awarded the death penalty. In 2001, the High Court acquitted three but upheld the death sentences of 12. In 2010, five men who admitted to taking part in the Rahman’s assassination were hanged. Another man died of natural causes in Zimbabwe, leaving six other convicts, including Majed, at large.