A fugitive for over 20 years, Majed was arrested on Tuesday
Abdul Majed, one of the convicts in the killing of Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has been executed at the Dhaka Central Jail.
“The convict was hanged at 12:01am Sunday,” Inspector General (Prisons) Brigadier General AKM Mustafa Kamal Pasha said.
He said other concerned officials including a magistrate, police representatives witnessed the execution as required by the law.
"This was the first case of the execution since Dhaka Central Jail was relocated in Keraniganj," he added.
Defying the coronavirus restriction, a number of people emerged in front of the jail at midnight.
Earlier, the prison authorities called Majed’s wife for a final visit as per the last wish of the death-row convict.
His body will be taken to Bhola for burial today although two MPs, including a former Chhatra League leader from Bhola have said they will not let that happen in their district.
After the execution, Law Minister Anisul Huq told the Dhaka Tribune: “We have pledged to the people that we will make sure the judgement that has been delivered by all the courts of the country, will be properly implemented and executed and I think for the 6th one we have been able to do it and we will continue till we have completed the implementation of the judgement.”
There are five other killers of Bangabandhu and his family who are on the run.
Earlier on Friday, four family members, that did not include the convict’s wife, met him at prison.
Majed’s death sentence was executed within four days after President Abdul Hamid turned down his clemency plea on Wednesday.
The same day, the Dhaka District and Sessions Judge’s court issued the death warrant for Majed, who was arrested in Dhaka on April 7.
After being on the run for over 20 years, Majed, a sacked Bangladesh Army officer who later served in different government positions, was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday in Dhaka.
One of the 12 assassins awarded the death penalty for the 1975 killings, Majed had been hiding in Libya and Pakistan before moving to neighbouring India and residing there for the last about two decades.
Majed crossed over into Bangladesh on March 15 or 16 through the border in Mymensingh after the coronavirus pandemic unfolded.
The sacked army officer, who later served in different government positions, including at Bangladesh missions abroad, fled the country after the Awami League assumed office in 1996.
Life as a fugitive
During initial interrogation, Majed said he had been living in neighbouring India for more than 20 years.
After going to India in 1996, he travelled to Libya and then Pakistan, before returning to India, where he had been living in different states. But for the last three to four years he had been living in Kolkata and was in touch with his family in Bangladesh.
Majed, who hails from the southern district of Bhola, was also involved in the murder of the four national leaders in Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said after his arrest.
He then worked at Bangabhaban, before leaving Bangladesh the same year, along with the other army officers involved in the assassination, for Libya.
Majed was then appointed to the Bangladesh embassy in Senegal by military ruler Ziaur Rahman.
In 1980, he was appointed to the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) with the rank and status of a deputy secretary. He was subsequently promoted as secretary and served as the director of Department of Youth Development and Department of National Savings.
Majed went into hiding after the Awami League won the national elections in 1996.
Another five killers still at large
The architect of Bangladesh’s independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was killed along with most of his family members at his home. His daughters, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, survived as they were abroad at the time.
The investigation into the assassinations was stopped by an Indemnity Ordinance, which saved the self-proclaimed killers from facing justice.
After the Awami League assumed office in 1996, the ordinance was abrogated, clearing the way for the killers to be brought to justice.
In 1998, a Dhaka sessions judge’s court found 15 people guilty and awarded the death penalty. In 2001, the High Court acquitted three but upheld the death sentences of 12.
In 2010, the Appellate Division upheld the verdict. The same year, five of the convicts — Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, and Mohiuddin Ahmed—were hanged.
Another convict Aziz Pasha died as a fugitive in Zimbabwe.
Majed was one of the six absconding convicts along with Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, M Rashed Chowdhury, SHMB Noor Chowdhury and Risaldar Moslemuddin until he was arrested and executed on Sunday.