Unceremonious burial of Father of the Nation | The Daily Star
03:24 PM, November 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:25 PM, August 14, 2016

Righting The Grievous Wrong

Unceremonious burial of Father of the Nation

Following the killing of Bangabandhu, the killers waited more than 24 hours to bury him and made sure the funeral was done in secret.

Only a handful of people participated in the namaz-e-janaza at Banagabandhu's ancestral home Tungipara as the brave Imam of the local mosque Moulvi Abdul Halim Sheikh successfully thwarted the army personnel's insistence on burying the body without even a janaza. In some counts only 18 people took part in the janaza.

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In his testimony before the court, one of the witnesses of Bangabandhu murder case, Havilder (retd) Md Quddus Sikder narrated that Maj Huda gave him the charge of looking after all dead bodies at Bangabandhu's residence after the killing. He and seven others were on duty.

On that night Huda took him along to a carpenter shop on Sher Shah Shuri Road in the capital's Mohammadpur area to order 10 wooden coffins, and asked the carpenter to deliver those to Dhanmondi Road 32.

On return from Mohammadpur, Huda dropped Quddus at Dhanmondi and then before the August 16 dawn the carpenter delivered the coffins. Then after the azan for fazr prayers, Huda along with a team of the army's Supply Transport Company reached Bangabandhu's house and took away all dead bodies except Bangabandhu's. Sometime between 9 and 10 in the morning, Huda came back and took Bangabandhu's body away on a pick-up truck, rushing to the airport.

While the top military brasses were busy in the cantonment to catch a piece of the coup's spoil, the father of the nation's dead body was kept in a coffin in his garage under guard by troops of the army's artillery and armored corps.

In the afternoon, Maj Mohiuddin and Lt Sekandar took Bangabandhu's body to Tungipara by an airforce helicopter.

Initially the body was kept in the local district office rest house while Mohiuddin kept insisting on a hurried funeral to avoid public viewing.

But the local Imam did not give in to the pressure from the armed band. He told the major in his face that the dead body of a Muslim could not be buried without a proper bath. The major gave him ten minutes for the bath and later another ten to complete the funeral.

Mujib's last bath was with a locally manufactured cheap 570 brand detergent bar. A piece of sari, distributed under the post war relief program, obtained from a poor villager was used to wrap his body. During the wash the Imam noticed that a bullet entered Mujib's body from the left side of his back turning the entrails out. The right side of the body had nine bullets; the main veins of both his legs were slit and his iconic index finger, the emblem of Bangalee independence and anti-colonialism, was shot off.

The military left the site as soon as Bangabandhu was buried. Sixty police kept the grave cordoned off for months.

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