There has been no significant headway in bringing home the six fugitive killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the government has apparently made no serious efforts to that end.
A taskforce, which was formed comprising law, home, and foreign ministry officials in 2010 to bring back the fugitive convicts from abroad, has met only twice in last 21 months.
The last meeting of the taskforce was held on April 9 this year at the law ministry without placing any report of major developments, insiders said. Before that, the taskforce held its meeting on November 21, 2012.
Law Minister Anisul Huq, who heads the taskforce, told The Daily Star before the Eid-ul-Fitr that groundwork was being done to bring back the fugitive killers and they had already made some “headway”.
He however refused to elaborate on the “headway” and only said the government had found out the whereabouts of the absconding killers.
The convicts might change their location if their whereabouts were disclosed, the minister added.
Anisul Huq also said the next meeting of the taskforce would be held on August 14 where the progress made would be discussed.
At the meeting held on November 21, 2012 with the then law minister Shafique Ahmed in the chair, the taskforce decided to confiscate property of the fugitive killers.
The Directorate of Registration under the law ministry has already identified land worth around Tk 50 crore owned by some of the fugitive killers and their families in seven districts.
A high official who attended the meetings of the taskforce told The Daily Star that the government had been trying to arrest the killers through Interpol, but they could not be traced.
The absconding killers are Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, Nur Chowdhury, Rashed Chowdhury, Abdul Mazed and Moslehuddin Khan.
The Interpol has issued warrants of arrest for the killers, who have reportedly been changing location to evade arrest.
The government has so far traced only two convicts -- Nur Chowdhury in Canada and Rashed Chowdhury in the USA.
The government had earlier thought both Mazed and Moslehuddin had been hiding in India, but the Indian government could not trace them. Rashid was reportedly running a construction business in Libya and Dalim had been living in Pakistan.
The trial in Bangabandhu assassination case started in Dhaka in 1997, 22 years after disgruntled army men mowed down him and most of his family members on August 15, 1975.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on November 19, 2009 upheld the death penalty of 12 convicted ex-army officers for the assassination.
Five of the convicts -- Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, and Mohiuddin Ahmed -- were hanged on January 27, 2010, while a sixth convict, Aziz Pasha, died in Zimbabwe in 2001.