Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has claimed that Ziaur Rahman was involved in the tragic killings on August 15 and November 3 in 1975.
“Not only Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad but also Ziaur Rahman was directly involved in the killings,” she told a discussion organised by ruling Awami League marking the Jail Killing Day in the city’s Krishibid Institute Thursday.
Hasina said: “The self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu and the national leaders said in various interviews with foreign media with pride how Ziaur Rahman backed them in the killings.
“Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia also rewarded the killers during subsequent despotic regimes.”
On this day in 1975, four national leaders - Bangladesh’s first prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed, first vice-president Syed Nazrul Islam, AHM Kamruzzaman and Captain Monsur Ali, who led the 1971 Liberation War - were brutally killed in captivity inside the Dhaka Central Jail. The leaders were murdered in less than three months after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members on August 15.
Hasina said: “The anti-liberation forces killed Bangabandhu to take revenge of their defeat in the War of Independence while the four national leaders were killed so that the pro-liberation force can never come to power in future.”
She mentioned that after usurping power, Zia introduced communal politics and rehabilitated banned Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh politics violating the constitution’s Article 12 and 38 imposing military promulgation.
“Apart from rehabilitating all anti-liberation forces who opposed Bangladesh’s independence, Ziaur Rahman also allowed communal politics in the country which Bangabandhu declared illegal through article 12 and 38 of the constitution,” the premier said.
“Ziaur Rahman introduced curfew democracy by enforcing nationwide curfew during his entire regime, turning the whole country into a prison.”
She also alleged that Bangladesh had to witness 19 coup attempts as the outcome of illegal capture of power by Zia and Mostaq which affected the country’s armed forces most. “Ziaur Rahman killed 565 officers of the Air force through organising camera trial.”
Condemning BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for whitening her black money, Hasina said now she is even afraid of appearing before the court as she misappropriated the money meant for the orphans.
The premier accused the BNP of snatching away the rights of bread and vote of the people, and said the party had set example of vote rigging and manipulation. She asked the BNP leaders to look back to their past as they are suspicious about a free and transparent election.
Hasina said Bangladesh cannot forget the incidents of killing, torture and intimidation perpetrated by BNP-Jamaat from 2001 to 2006.