‘Probe Zia regime murders’
Published: 2013-05-20 16:37:48.0 BdST Updated: 2013-05-20 17:12:02.0 BdST
The brother of Col Abu Taher has called for a judicial investigation into the ‘killings’ that took place during the regime of former military ruler Gen Ziaur Rahman.
Prof M Anwar Hossain, younger brother Col Taher who was executed in 1976 by a military tribunal during Zia’s rule, made the demand on Monday.
His call came hours after the High Court published its full verdict on the execution, declaring it illegal.
High Court bench of justices AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury and Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain had delivered the judgement on Mar 22, 2011. The full verdict was published after the judges signed it.
In the summary verdict, the court had said execution of Taher, one of the Sector Commanders during the Liberation War, was a ‘cold-blooded murder’ given the nature of the trial conducted as per Ziaur Rahman's plan.
“The dark history can be exposed through the commission. This verdict can play an important role there.”
Taher’s wife Lutfa Taher also was also happy about the High Court verdict.
Prof Hossain, who was also sentenced to jail by the military court, said: “Every member of our family is freedom fighter. They’ve won a country through war. Ziaur Rahman killed them in that very country.”
He said: “Thousands of killings took place during Zia’s rule. Nobody knows that. Many were killed inside the jail. Bodies of many people killed by Zia were not found.”
The court had ordered Taher be ‘considered a martyr’ and a murder case be filed against the judge of the military tribunal, who had ordered his hanging.
Prof Anwar Hossain termed the publication of the full verdict ‘the greatest day’ of their family.
“Many killings, including that of Bangabandhu and his family on Aug 15, 1975, during and after Zia’s regime are covered in darkness.”
“People don’t know the history of that time. Many painful incidents happened. But those are covered in darkness. The verdict has created the chance to reveal the truth.”
Bangladesh saw a spell of military uprising and counter-uprising after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members on Aug 15, 1975.
On Nov 7, 1975, Taher orchestrated a socialist uprising amongst the soldiers and freed the then army chief Ziaur Rahman from house arrest. He also fuelled Zia's consolidation of power as Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator.
However, Taher was arrested only 17 days after the takeover. A total of 33 people, including him, were tried in a secret court martial.
Verdicts of Jalil and Yusuf were later reduced to life sentences for their ‘special contribution’ during the Liberation War.
Four days after the military court order, Taher was hanged on July 21, 1976.
Lutfa Taher, Anwar Hossain, and Flight Sergeant Abu Yusuf Khan’s wife jointly filed a petition on Aug 23, 2010challenging the legality of the court martial.
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