It was expected that his political asylum would be cancelled if the case was revived. After the changes of power in the USA, the process has become slow. So there has been uncertainty about whether the killers of Bangabandhu would be brought back or not.
On 15 August 1975, some disgruntled army members brutally killed Bangabandhu and his family members. However, two of his daughters--Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana survived as they were abroad. An indemnity law was formulated to spare the killers.
Awami League started the trial of Bangabandhu murder case after coming to power in 1996. On 8 November 1998, then Dhaka sessions judge Kazi Golum Rosul delivered the verdict in this case sentencing 15 people to death. Later the High Court upheld death sentences of 12 accused.
On 27 January 2010, the death sentences of killers Syed Faruque Rahman, Bazluyl Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, Sultan Shariar Rashid Khan and Muhiuddin Ahmed were implemented. Another killer Aziz Pasha died in Zimbabwe in 2001.
Among the fugitive killers, Abdul Mazed was arrested from Gabtoli area in the capital on 6 April 2020, according to police. He was hanged on 11 April. Indian media report that killer Mazed had lived in Kolkata by concealing his identity for a long time.
Among the five fugitive killers, the location of three killers--Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim and Risaldar Moslemuddin could not be identified by the government.
A senior official of the foreign ministry said during the rule of US president Donald Trump, then attorney general William Barr issued a notice to review the asylum case of killer Rashed Chowdury.
After the change of power in the US, Bangladesh does not know the latest development of the matter. During various meetings over the last year, Bangladesh requested the USA to take steps in this regard, the US officials said the matter is pending at the justice department.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said, "In all meetings with the US since January till now, we placed the issue to bring back Rashed Chowdhury. As the matter is a legal process, the US State Department and the White House repeatedly said the attorney general is working on the matter. In the context of contacting with them, the US justice department is also being contacted with."
When asked whether the importance of Rashed Chowdhury is being lost with the changes of power in the US, the foreign secretary said, "It would not be right to make comments whether the issue is being given importance or not. But it is true the US justice department is very busy over various issues."
Officials said Ottawa did not inform Dhaka anything after Bangladesh had filed a case with the Canadian court to get information about Noor Chowdhury. Contact on diplomatic and political level is on to bring back Noor Chowdhury. Besides, the legal steps are also going on.
Bangladesh government has engaged law firm LL Skadden in USA to bring back Rashed Chowdhury and law firm Tori LLP in Canada to bring back Noor Chowdhury.
About the development of Noor Chowdhury, Masud Bin Momen said there is a legal complication to bring back Noor Chowdhury as Canada has abolished death penalty. Despite, a contact is being maintained with the Canadian authorities and politicians.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo online and print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.