She also blamed Khaleda Zia for playing a similar role when the August 21, 2004 grenade attack was carried out
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has described Bangladesh’s first military ruler Ziaur Rahman as the “real villain” of the August 15, 1975 plot that claimed the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She said Khaleda Zia played a similar role when the August 21, 2004 grenade attack was carried out.
The premier tended to compare the two incidents with the first one killing Bangabandhu along with most of his family members while the second plot was aimed to eliminate Sheikh Hasina alongside senior Awami League leaders.
“The real villain behind the assassination of Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was Ziaur Rahman,” she told a virtual discussion marking the National Mourning Day and the 45th martyrdom anniversary of Bangabandhu.
The premier said Zia became the main beneficiary of the carnage as he simultaneously emerged as the president and army chief after Khandaker Moshtaque Ahmed’s ouster from power while convicted killers Farook and Rashid in their interviews to the BBC described his involvement in the plot.
Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration national implementation committee organized the discussion at the International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) while the premier joined it from her official residence Ganabhaban through a videoconference on Sunday.
Sheikh Hasina said that Khandaker Moshtaque made Zia the army chief after proclaiming himself the president, grabbing the state power with the help of Zia, Rashid, Farook, Dalim and others immediately after Father of the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s assassination.
“Zia’s appointment as the army chief by Moshtaq was another evidence of his (Zia’s) involvement in the August 15, 1975 carnage,” she said.
The prime minister said Khaleda Zia staged the August 21, 2004 barbaric grenade attack on an anti-terrorism rally of the Awami League to make the party bankrupt in leadership following her husband’s footsteps.
She said the killers had assassinated Bangabandhu as they failed to isolate him from the masses spearheading propaganda against him.
“The main purpose of the heinous crime was to foil the goal for which Bangladesh was liberated,” said Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of Bangabandhu.
The prime minister said killers Farook and Rashid told in an interview with the BBC that they had tried for long to separate Bangabandhu from the people but failing to do that, they killed him.
Awami League Advisory Council Member and former minister Amir Hossain Amu, MP, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq and noted historian Abu Md Delwar Hossain spoke on the occasion from the IMLI.
Chairman of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration national implementation committee National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam gave vote of thanks.
Former minister for cultural affairs Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, recited a poem on Bangabandhu and Chief Coordinator of the Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration national implementation committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury gave welcome address.
A documentary highlighting Bangabandhu’s life and works was also screened on the occasion.