Zia's grave will be removed from parliament premises: minister

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque has reiterated the government's plans to remove the grave of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman from the parliament premises amid renewed discussions over the former president's tomb.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 30 August 2021, 01:58 PM
Updated : 30 August 2021, 01:59 PM

The gallantry title conferred on the late military ruler and wartime sector commander Zia will also be revoked in light of "documentary evidence" about his involvement in the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the minister said during a seminar at the National Press Club on Monday.

Talks over the removal of unplanned structures, including Zia's mausoleum, from the parliament complex had arisen at several sessions of the ninth and tenth National Assembly after the Awami League came to power in 2008.

At the time, the BNP voiced strong objection to the move but the discussions eventually petered out.

However, the matter once again came to the fore after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently said Zia's body was not in the grave.

“Not only Zia's grave but all other graves and illegal structures have to be removed from the parliament premises," said Mozammel amid the ongoing back and forth between the Awami League and BNP.

"There should be nothing outside what was in the original design of the parliament. Everything else is illegal.”

There is no need to keep Zia's grave in Dhaka, according to Mozammel. The grave in Chandrima Udyan is empty, the veteran Awami League leader said, adding that if Zia's body is located anywhere, his followers could go there to pay their respects to him.

"Ziaur Rahman's body could not be found. God knows what was in the coffin. A wooden box is buried there.”

Mozammel also spoke about identifying the body that lies in the grave in Chandrima Udyan.

"If there are any remains in that grave then prove that those are Zia's by running a DNA test. If there is proof (Zia's body is there), I will apologise to the nation.”

Minister for Liberation War Affairs said that the title of Ziaur Rahman Biruttam, the commander of Z Force during the war of liberation was canceled.

On rescinding Zia's 'Bir Uttam' title, the minister said, “I cannot be a son of the soil who pays the highest respect to someone who kills the father of the nation. That is why no assassin of Bangabandhu can have the title. ”

Stressing that the titles of those involved in Bangabandhu's assassination have been revoked, he added, "There is circumstantial evidence that Ziaur Rahman was involved. I will also say that there is documentary evidence. We haven't done it yet [revoked Zia's title]. We are waiting for proof.”

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