BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was involved in the 1975 carnage that killed Sheikh Mujib: Bangladesh PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday told parliament said she did not doubt that late president Ziaur Rahman, founder of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was involved in the 1975 conspiracy that led to the assassination of the nation’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and several members of her family

Sep 16, 2021
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BNP founder Ziaur Rahman

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday told parliament said she did not doubt that late president Ziaur Rahman, founder of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was involved in the 1975 conspiracy that led to the assassination of the nation’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and several members of her family.
 
 She also questioned Ziaur Rahman’s contribution to Bangladesh’s Liberation War against the Pakistani rulers.
 
"There's no doubt that he was involved in the 1975 carnage. I wanted to name him as an accused, but the then home secretary Rezaul Hayat once said dead persons cannot be made accused. His (Zia) name should have been there as an accused (in the case)," she said in her valedictory speech at the 14th session of the 11th parliament.

Mujibur Rahman and almost all members of his family were killed by a group of Bangladesh soldiers who staged a coup on August 15, 1975. Only Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana survived as they were abroad during the mayhem.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu's killers Colonel Syed Faruk Rahman and LT. Col, Abdur Rashid in their interviews with the BBC had said Zia was involved in the conspiracy. It was also stated in the book of the interviewer Anthony Mascarenhas.

"So, how can they (BNP) deny it?" she questioned.

Ziaur Rahman, who became the chief martial law administrator in late 1975 and took over as president on 21 April 1977, was assassinated in an army coup on 30, May 1981 while on a visit to Chattogram. His widow, Begum  Khaleda Zia, also former prime minister, now heads the BNP but has been in prison, and then under house arrest, for over three years. 

Referring to the ongoing debate on whether the grave at Dhaka's Chandrima Udyan contains Zia's remains, Hasina said a box was brought from Chattogram claiming it contained his body.

She said that freedom fighter Mir Shawkat and former President Hussain Muhammad Ershad had admitted that the box did not contain Ziaur Rahman's remains.

The Prime Minister said, "Discussion is on about Ziaur Rahman's grave -- whether his body is buried there. I do not want to say more about it."

Hasina said that Ziaur Rahman was a freedom fighter and Bangabandhu had given him the gallantry award. “That is all true. But what was his contribution?”

Sheikh Hasina said, "Col Aslam Beg (of Pakistan Army) wrote him (Zia) a letter during the Liberation War and I have that letter. I will show it in parliament next time.

“It needs to be part of the proceedings of parliament. In the letter, Col Aslam Beg wrote that he (Zia) was doing a very good job and that they were satisfied with his work. They asked him not to worry about his wife and son and that he will be given more work in the future."

(SAM)