The Leading Leaders of 1971
The four Liberation War heroes -- Syed Nazrul Islam, acting president of Bangladesh government in exile in 1971, Tajuddin Ahmed, prime minister of the same government, M Mansur Ali, finance minister, and AHM Qamaruzzaman, minister for home affairs, relief and rehabilitation -- were killed in captivity by some Army officers. They were assassinated 79 days after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members were killed on August 15, 1975. Ruling Awami League and many other organisations have chalked out elaborate programmes to commemorate the leaders. President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have conveyed separate messages to mark the day. President Zillur Rahman in his message said, "The anti-liberation forces killed the four national leaders on November 3 after they had killed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15 in 1975." "The day has been a black episode for the nation," he said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, "November 3 is a black day in the history of humanity and democracy.
The conspirators killed the national leaders to delete the name of Awami League from Bangladesh and create a vacuum in the leadership of Bangalees." She said the conspirators who had killed Bangabandhu and the four national leaders are still active and the August 21 grenade attack and bomb attack on lawmaker Fazle Noor Taposh are parts of their conspiracy. Though long 34 years have past, the family members of the assassinated national leaders are yet to get justice as the case is pending in the Supreme Court following government's appeal against a High Court (HC) verdict on the case. A murder case in connection with the jail killings was filed with Lalbagh Police Station on November 4, 1975, but the then government halted the trial process by promulgating an ordinance that indemnified the assassins. The case is now pending in the Supreme Court's appellate division.
The investigation and trial of the killings remained blocked for about 21 years until the law was scrapped during the 1996-2001 rule of Awami League. The trial was also delayed due to judicial tangles. Finally, in 2004 a Dhaka court sentenced three to death and 12 others to life imprisonment for abetting the murderers and acquitted five persons. But The HC on August 28 last year acquitted six accused persons including Lt Col (dismissed) Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Major (retd) AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Major (retd) Bazlul Huda. It upheld the death sentence of Risaldar (retd) Muslemuddin, who is still on the run. Of the acquitted, Dafadar (dismissed) Marfat Ali Shah and Dafadar (dismissed) Abdul Hashem Mridha were sentenced to death by the trial court. The other four -- Farooq, Rashid, Huda and Mohiuddin –
We express our most heartfelt condolences for the physical disappearance of you all, committed secularist, historical leader, heroes of the nation and tireless fighter for the wellbeing of the Bengali nation, these actions just causes, freedom, democracy and peace. The Bengali nation is missing you all.