Terming the killing of Bangabandhu and his family members “cowardly”, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha yesterday said many “big shots” were involved in the conspiracy to carry out the killing, but they couldn't be tried due to weakness in investigation.
“Examining the case records, we found that many big shots were involved in the conspiracy [to kill Bangabandhu]. But we couldn't put them on trial because of weakness in the probe [of the murder case]. We have clearly said in our judgement that it was a criminal conspiracy. The killing was pre-planned. We called for putting them on trial,” he said.
The chief justice was speaking at a blood donation programme, organised by the Supreme Court in association with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, on the SC premises in the morning. Apex court judges, officials and staff attended it.
“Bangabandhu might have had enemies or become an adversary to someone. But his minor son Sheikh Russell, two newlywed sons and younger brother Sheikh Naser, who were not involved in politics, were also killed. What was their fault?
“Their [the killers] intention was to wipe out the name of Bangabandhu family from history. No other killing in the world bears similarity to this one. We were shocked by the way it was carried out,” the CJ said.
“It was very painful that the trial of Bangabandhu killing had been blocked by a law of the state [indemnity ordinance]. As a member of the judiciary, I feel proud because the Supreme Court cleared the way for holding the trial by scrapping the indemnity ordinance.
“There was a deep conspiracy in this case. When I was a junior judge of the Appellate Division [of the SC], I was sick. I was being treated for cancer in Singapore. At that time, there were problems with the constitution of the bench that would hear the case. I was requested to come back home soon. Even though I was not sure whether I would survive, I returned home without having treatment.
“Today is a shocking day in our history. On this day, the people of Bangladesh lost the architect of independence… the killers wanted to eliminate his belief.”
The CJ mentioned that the founding fathers of two nations in this subcontinent were assassinated -- one is Mahatma Gandhi and the other is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
But the reasons behind the killing of the two great leaders are different. Mahatma Gandhi was killed out of extreme communalism and blind faith, noted Sinha.
Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, senior-most judge of the SC, said, “Bangabandhu is the Father of the Nation. There is no question about this.
“I was a student of BA when the election was held in 1970. There was no leader other than Bangabandhu in East Pakistan and nobody could even imagine anyone else… all were under the leadership of one leader [Bangabandhu].”
He further said, “It was because of him that Bangladesh was liberated. It was because of him that I could be a judge of the apex court… We remember Bangabandhu as we are citizens of an independent country.”
After inaugurating the programme, the CJ told reporters that he wouldn't comment on criticism of the SC verdict in the 16th amendment case.
He, however, said he would talk on the issue in court.
Sabbir Faiz, additional registrar of the HC, told The Daily Star that more than 80 people, including two HC judges and some SC officials, donated blood at the programme.