Dhaka, Jan 28 (bdnews24.com) – Five former army officers executed for the murder of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have been buried and with them, many feel, a dark chapter from Bangladesh's history although another six convicted killers remain fugitives abroad.
The five executions came swift on the heels of the Supreme Court's dismissal on Wednesday of the review petitions of the five detained convicts in the Mujib murder case, their last legal scope for deferral of the death sentences.
All five were executed between midnight and 1am on Thursday at Dhaka Central Jail.
The bodies of Bazlul Huda, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Syed Faruk Rahman, AKM Mohiuddin and Mohiuddin Ahmed, were carried in five ambulances, escorted by RAB and police, to their home villages following the deaths by hanging.
AKM Mohiuddin and Mohiuddin Ahmed were buried at their family homes in Patuakhli on Thursday afternoon.
Both the former army officers hailed from the same upazila—Galachipa.
The ambulance carrying AKM Mohiuddin's body reached Neta village at Rangabali union at around 2:30pm; the coffin was received by his cousin Shahidul Islam Talukder.
Mohiuddin Ahmed's coffin reached Moudubi village at Borobaishdia union at around the same time where his uncle Abul Hossain received the body.
The three other convicts, Shahriar Rashid , Faruk and Huda were buried at their respective village homes earlier in the day.
Shahriar Rashid's body reached Gopinathpur village in Kasba upazila, Brahmanbaria, at around 6:30am; he was buried half an hour later. He was laid to rest beside his mother's grave according to his last wish.
Faruk's body reached his village home in Marma Mallikpur of Naogaon Sadar upazila at around 9am and was received by his mother, sister and brother-in-law. His janaza was held at the village mosque, where over 500 people attended. He was buried in the family graveyard at 10am.
Huda was buried at his village home in Alamdanga, Chudanga. The ambulance carrying the body reached Boalia village at around 9am. His cousin Nurul Huda received the coffin. The former army officer was interred at his family graveyard at around 2pm, after his namaj-e-janaza attended by locals.
'FUGITIVE KILLERS TO GET NO RESPITE'
Local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam, just hours after the executions, said the still fugitive killers "would not get respite from law".
The Supreme Court last November rejected appeals of the five jailed convicts in the case and upheld death sentences of 12 former army officers for Mujib's murder.
Apart from five who were executed, six of the original 12 are still fugitive.
"They will be brought back home," Ashraf told reporters on Thursday.
'APPEALS OPEN TO FUGITIVES ON THEIR RETURN'
Law minister Shafique Ahmed also spoke of bringing back all the convicted killers-at-large, saying the government has information about them and was working to bring them back to face justice.
He said there will be scope to appeal for the six fugitives.
"The home and foreign ministries are working to bring the fugitives back. Interpol has already issued Red Alert notices against them," Shafique told reporters at the Secretariat.
He said the convicts were hiding out in foreign countries including Pakistan, Canada, Libya.
He said the Canadian government is helping Bangladesh to return fugitive Noor Chowdhury.
"Only the legal formalities are pending now," he said.
Shafique criticised other countries who sheltered killers by giving political asylum.
"The confessed killers should not be given asylum. If they are indulged, crimes like killings will keep on."
On complaints by lawyers of the five executed convicts that due legal process was not followed, the law minister said: "The execution was carried out by completing all legal procedures and allowing them all scope.
"There are no grounds for making such allegations," he said.
Shafique said the nation's 35-year wait had come to an end through the executions.