Little progress in bringing 5 fugitive killers back
The government's efforts to bring back the five fugitive killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the country have yet to see any significant and visible progress.
In the meantime, 14 years have passed since the trial proceedings of the Bangabandhu assassination case were completed.
The government has even failed to constitute a commission to unravel the identities of the conspirators behind the killing of Bangabandhu and his family members on August 15, 1975, although it announced the plan to form it a few years back.
Amid this situation, the nation will observe National Mourning Day today.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on November 19, 2009 upheld a High Court verdict that confirmed death sentences of 12 people, including the five absconding killers, for the assassination of the Father of the Nation.
The five convicted killers, who remain fugitives, are Col (dismissed) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (relieved) Shariful Haque Dalim, Maj (retd) Noor Chowdhury, Maj (retd) Rashed Chowdhury and Risaldar Moslehuddin Khan.
The government had also made global appeals in bilateral, regional and international forums to track down the culprits. However, only two of the five could be traced -- Rashed Chowdhury in the US and Noor Chowdhury in Canada.
Contacted, Law Minister Anisul Huq said his ministry has already finalised the draft of a law for constituting a commission to identify the conspirators.
A bill on the law will be placed before the parliament if Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approves it and then the commission will be formed, he said.
He, however, did not say how much time will be needed to pass the bill and to formulate the law.
Replying to a query, the law minister said the government is trying to bring Bangabandhu's killers Rashed Chowdhury and Nur Chowdhury back to the country.
"We are trying to overcome the obstacles in bringing Nur Chowdhury from Canada and we are holding talks with the US to bring Rashed Chowdhury back from that country. I will not say more than this at the moment," he said.
The government could not find out the whereabouts of other three convicts -- Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim and Moslehuddin Khan -- despite a series of efforts made through diplomatic channels, intelligence and Interpol.
However, the Hasina-led government has moved another step towards ensuring justice by executing convict Abdul Majed.
Abdul Majed, who had long been hiding abroad, was hanged on April 12, 2020.
Earlier, five other convicts -- Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed -- were executed on January 28, 2010.
Another convict Aziz Pasha died in Zimbabwe in 2001.