No conspiracy; it was army revolt | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 20, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 20, 2009

No conspiracy; it was army revolt

Claims counsel for convicted killer Huda

The August 15 killings were a revolt by army men, not any conspiracy, and the case should be tried afresh by a military court, a lawyer for Bangabandhu murder convicts told the Supreme Court yesterday.
Abdullah-al Mamun, counsel for Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin, claimed all army personnel supported the revolt so that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could not make a particular announcement at a programme on Dhaka University campus on August 15, 1975.
Summing up his arguments, he said their intention was not to kill Bangabandhu, then president of the republic, or his family.
Mamun contended the real culprits would have been unmasked, had this case been tried under the army act. Now they would remain untouched if a few including his clients are sentenced to death.
He said a simmering conflict between the then army chief Major General Shafiullah and senior official Brigadier Khaled Mosharraf, discontent among the ranks for dismissal of Col Abu Taher and Lt Col Ziauddin and formation of Rakkhi Bahini--all boiled over into the August 15 killings.
Later, the coups on November 3 and 7, 1975, resulted from an intense power struggle between the army generals, the lawyer continued.
“The verdicts delivered by the trial court and the High Court were politically biased, as the courts found his clients convict on grounds that Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad had rewarded them with postings abroad.”
None of the military high-ups including Shafiullah and air force chief AK Khandaker took any step to protect Bangabandhu, though they all knew something like August 15 killings were going to take place.
The court at that point asked him to specify the names of those he thinks were the real offenders.
Mamun replied that almost all high officials of the armed forces, Bangladesh Rifles and Rakkhi Bahini were responsible for the bloodbath in that they did not do anything to resist that.
He said Bangabandhu asked Shafiullah over phone to protect him shortly after the attackers had entered his house at around 4:30am, but the army boss did nothing.
The court said maybe he (Shafiullah) was a coward.
Mamun said there were 25 security guards in the Bangabandhu residence that night, but none was killed.
He ended his submissions by pleading with the court to acquit his clients.
The bench adjourned the hearing till 9:30am today.

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