National Mourning Day: Justice looks far off for 3 other Aug 15 attacks
12:00 AM, August 15, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:34 AM, August 15, 2016

Justice still elusive in 3 other Aug 15 cases

34 were killed in 3 attacks; Serniabat murder, mortar assault cases backburnered; accused in Moni murder case acquitted

Though the nation got justice for the assassination of the Father of the Nation 34 long years after the incident, justice is yet to be done for three more attacks carried out on August 15, 1975.

The attacks left 24 more people killed on the day. The nation has seen no legal action against these murders in all these years due to inaction and negligence of the successive governments. 

A band of rogue army personnel killed Bangabandhu's nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, founding chairman of Awami Jubo League, and his wife Arzu Moni at their Dhanmondi residence that morning.

In another attack, Bangabandhu's brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, the then water resources minister, was murdered at his Minto Road residence while a mortar assault by some army personnel killed 14 in Mohammadpur, taking the death toll to 34 on the fateful day.

The cases linked with these killings were filed in 1996. Two of them are still on the backburner while the accused in the case filed in connection with Sheikh Moni's murder have been acquitted by a lower court.

Law Minister Anisul Huq could not be reached for comments on this issue despite several attempts by phone yesterday.

He earlier told The Daily Star that the government would take initiatives for disposal of the two cases filed over Serniabat's killing and Mohammadpur attack.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told this newspaper yesterday that though most of the accused in these cases had either been convicted or executed in Bangabandhu killing case, his office would take steps for vacating the High Court order that stayed the proceedings of Serniabat murder case.

The HC stayed the case's proceedings in November 1999 following a petition filed by Bazlul Huda, one of the accused executed for Bangabandhu's murder.

In January 2009, five condemned killers of the Father of the Nation were executed following a Supreme Court verdict in Bangabandhu murder case filed in October 1996.

SHEIKH MONI MURDER

The Criminal Investigation Department submitted the final report in the case in August 2002. 

Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in December the same year accepted the report and acquitted all the accused without even notifying the complainant.

SERNIABAT MURDER

A group of army personnel led by Maj Shahriar Rashid, Maj Aziz Pasha, Capt Majed and Capt Nurul Huda stormed into Serniabat's house on Minto Road, gathered the residents in the living room and shot them.

Abdur Rab Serniabat, his nephew Shaheed Serniabat, daughter Baby Serniabat, son Arif Serniabat, grandson Babu Serniabat, who was only four then, domestic helps Potka and Laxmir Ma, and Abdur Naim Khan alias Rintu died on the spot.

Nine others were severely injured. Abul Hasnat Abdullah, son of Abdur Rab Serniabat, escaped hiding behind a door.

Hasnat's wife Shahan Ara Begum, among the injured, filed a case with Ramna police, accusing 18 people.

MOHAMMADPUR MORTAR ATTACK

Fourteen people were killed by mortar shells fired in Mohammadpur in Dhaka on the night of August 15, 1971.

The CID pressed charges against the same accused as in the Serniabat case in July 1997 for the incident.

The case is now pending with the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court, Dhaka. So far, 15 prosecution witnesses have testified in court in the case.

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