Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the history virtually repeated the Karbala tragedy in Bangladesh on 15 August 1975 with Ziaur Rahman being the key shadow man behind the carnage plot.
“There is a strange similarity between the 15 August massacre and Karbala tragedy… The 15 August carnage always reminds us of the Karbala incident,” she told a National Mourning Day discussion that coincided with the Ashura tragedy of 10 Muharram in Arabic calendar.
She said assassins had killed Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) grandson and Imam of the Muslim community Hazrat Hossain (RA) in Karbala while “another Karbala tragedy happened in Bangladesh through brutal killing of Bangabandhu and most of his family members in 1975.”
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, however, mentioned that women and children were not killed in the Karbala incident but in Bangladesh the assassins did not spare the women and children.
She said the children and women were gunned down in Bangabandhu’s 32 Dhanmondi house and the abodes of his political aides and relatives in Minto Road on the fateful night of 15 August.
I don’t know what a heinous frenzy of joy they (killers) got by killing the Father of the Nation … what they got through this assassination and from whom they got such a courage?Sheikh Hasina
The prime minister said this while addressing a discussion through a videoconference from her official Gonobhaban residence in the capital this morning. Dhaka north and south city units jointly organised the function followed by special prayers.
Secretaries concerned to the prime minister accompanied Sheikh Hasina as she joined the event through virtual media from Gonobhaban.
AL central leaders and leader and workers of two Dhaka city units joined the discussion on the 45th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the central office of the party at Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka.
The prime minister paid her rich tributes to Imam Hossain as well saying “on that day (of 10th Muharram in 680 AD) Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of our great Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), was brutally killed in the Karbala Maidan because he was in the path of just.”
Dhaka north city AL president Sheikh Bazlur Rahman presided over the discussion, while Dhaka south city AL general secretray Humayun Kabir moderated the function.
At the outset of the meeting, one-minute silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memories of Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the 15 August carnage.
Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation’s killers in their words and in media interviews confessed that they drew Ziaur Rahman’s blessings and all kinds of support in carrying out the carnage.
She said Bangabandhu cabinet’s senior member and the then commerce minister Khandaker Mostaq was completely involved in the plot. He will be remembered in history as a betrayer as he (Mostaq) declared himself as the president of Bangladesh soon after the carnage.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu had huge contributions in creating the state named Pakistan
The prime minister said Ziaur Rahman had earned Khandaker Mostaq’s trust and that is why he made him the army chief removing general Safiullah.
“As long as Khandaker Mostaq was in Bangabhaban, Zia frequently visited there and maintained contact and held meetings with Bangabandhu’s killers ... the involvement of Zia in Bangabandhu’s killing is now clear before the people with these evidences,” she said.
The prime minister said the killers -- Faruk, Rashid, Noor, Huda, Shahriar, Mosleuddin, Rashed, Pasha, Khairuzzaman -- and some such army officers brutally killed Bangabandhu on 15 August in 1975.
“I don’t know what a heinous frenzy of joy they (killers) got by killing the Father of the Nation … what they got through this assassination and from whom they got such a courage?” she questioned.
Sheikh Hasina, also the elder daughter of Bangabandhu, questioned further: “What was the offence of the Father of the Nation?”
He (Bangabandhu) talked some words with David Frost in an interview and we knew from him (Frost) that Bangabandhu was hit by rifle butt in his back from the head to feetSheikh Hasina
“Was it his offence that he brought independence of a nation and gave it the scope of getting self-identity. Was it his offence he wanted to give the people economic freedom and present a better life?”
The prime minister said Bangabandhu had huge contributions in creating the state named Pakistan. “He (Bangabandhu) made struggles and joined the movement under the leadership of Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy for establishing Pakistan,” she said.
“But it was seen after the establishment of Pakistan that the Bangalees were exploited and deprived and he started struggles to free the Bangalees from exploitation and deprivation. This struggle was initiated in 1948 when the conspiracies began to snatch our mother tongue,” she said.
The prime minister said the Father of the Nation suffered imprisonment time and again. “Why he made so much sacrifice in his life? It was only for the people of Bangladesh,” she said.
The AL president said numerous leaders and activists of the party made struggles and sacrificed their lives responding to the call of the Father of the Nation. “They were tortured in various ways, but they were not derailed from the ideology and they moved forward with a goal.”
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu had taken every step in a planned way to attain this goal. “He advanced step by step and repeatedly raised the demand of the Bangalees,” she said.
The prime minister pointed out that Bangabandhu joined processions for hungry people and he was expelled from Dhaka University while going to join a movement for its class-IV employees.
“But he didn’t look at himself nor compromised with principles and ideology as he continued working for the people and their welfare,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said he placed the historic six-point demand and it got huge popularity among the freedom-loving people as they realised that their freedom was sown in the six-point demand.
The prime minister said the Father of the Nation declared independence at the moment when the Pakistan military launched attacks on the Bangalees on the night of 25 March in 1971.
“Earlier, in his 7 March speech Bangabandhu gave directives to the nation on how to take preparation for waging guerrilla war and the Bangalee nation complied with the instructions word by word,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that their Dhanmondi-32 house was attacked by the Pakistani occupation forces at the moment when the Father of the Nation declared independence. “Subsequently, Bangabandhu was arrested by the Pakistan army and was taken to Pakistan where he was detained in jail,” she said.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu never spoke to anybody except journalist David Frost about the pain and sorrow he suffered during his stay in jail in Pakistan.
“He (Bangabandhu) talked some words with David Frost in an interview and we knew from him (Frost) that Bangabandhu was hit by rifle butt in his back from the head to feet,” she said.