AFM Mohitul Islam, the man who played a pivotal role in bringing the killers of Bangabandhu to justice, breathed his last yesterday.
In October 1976, a little over a year after the massacre in which Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members were killed, he with all his courage walked to Lalbagh Police Station to file a case.
At a time when the perpetrators were holding important positions in the new regime installed after the assassination, the on-duty sub-inspector slapped him on his face and pushed him out of the police station.
It was frustrating and painful to Mohitul who had worked as personal assistant to the president and a receptionist at Bangabandhu's residence in 1975.
But at the same time he was confident that the trial of this assassination would one day be held.
With the changeover of political scenario, Mohitul filed a case on October 2, 1996 as a witness to one of the darkest and heinous crimes committed in Bangladesh's political history.
Though it took long, the nation finally got justice in November 2009.
The man who made it happen died at 63 of kidney complications at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Mohitul was admitted to the hospital with kidney failure, hypertension and diabetes on July 12 and shifted to the ICU two or three days later, said BSMMU Vice Chancellor Prof Kamrul Hasan.
As his condition improved, he was moved to a cabin on July 20, but shifted to the ICU again seven days later as his health deteriorated, he said.
Since then Mohitul was in a critical condition and was on life support, the VC said adding, “We have tried our best but failed.”
After his death, the hospital authorities gave bath to the freedom fighter and wrapped the body with the national flag, the VC said.
The first namaz-e-janaza was held at the BSMMU mosque, participated, among others, by Awami League lawmakers and leaders.
Mohitul left behind his wife, a daughter and a host of relatives, admirers and friends to mourn his death.
Family sources said he would be buried tomorrow after Zohr prayers at his family graveyard at Kashimpur village under Monirampur upazila in Jessore, reports BSS.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conveyed deep sympathy to the members of the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul.
In a condolence message, the president said the nation would remember with gratitude the courageous role of Mohitul in the trial of Bangabandhu murder forever.
Only because of his courageous steps, the killers were punished, and Bangladesh and Bangalees were freed of a curse, he added.
PM Hasina recalled with profound respect the courageous role of Mohitul during the brutal killing of the Father of the Nation in 1975.
Mohitul was at the Dhanmondi-Road-32 house when the killing took place on the dreadful night of August 15, 1975.
"He (Mohitul) hid Sheikh Russell, the youngest son of Bangabandhu, to save him from the heinous killers. But the murderers killed Russell after snatching him away," Hasina said in her condolence message.
"Through his (Mohitul) death, we lost a person who was dedicated to the Awami League and Bangabandhu family," she added.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddque also expressed shock at the demise of the freedom fighter.