A loss of great leaders, 43 years ago | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:20 PM, November 03, 2018


A loss of great leaders, 43 years ago

In mourning, let us remember what they stood for

Forty-three years ago, on this day, the nation lost four great leaders, who as trusted lieutenants of Bangabandhu had steered the Liberation War in 1971 to its successful conclusion. It was only a few months after the Father of the Nation was brutally killed along with most of his family on August 15, 1975, former Vice-President Syed Nazrul Islam, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain (Rtd) Mansur Ali, and former Home Minister AHM Quamruzzaman were brutally gunned down in a high-security prison.

As people closest and most loyal to Sheikh Mujib, and undoubtedly great leaders, these four were killed in a most systematic manner. The Jail Killing Day was the second biggest attack on the democracy we fought for, and was used to consolidate the attack on our democracy that started with Bangabandhu's killing. The killers had wanted to deprive the nation of capable leaders who embodied the values Bangladesh's liberation stood for. Even in the political crisis in the days following August 15, 1975, these brave men remained loyal and preferred death to disloyalty.

Today, we mourn their untimely deaths. We recall their exemplary leadership during the crucial war-period, and the devotion and dedication with which they served the fledgling nation. We commend the Awami League for its role for initiating the trials of the killers and its efforts to bring them back to face justice. The killers, of both Bangabandhu and the four, were allowed to escape the country after committing the murders, and some remain at large. We hope the government would ramp up its efforts to track down the killers who have so far eluded justice for the murders of our leaders in 1975. More pertinently, the nation today must reaffirm its commitment for the values and integrity these leaders personified.

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