In an emotional reminiscence of her brother Sheikh Russell at a gathering of children and young people celebrating his 50th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Russell would still be alive today if she had been allowed to take him abroad along with her.
“I wanted to take Russell with me when I went abroad, but our parents did not allow it. If they had, Russell would be alive and be 50 years old today,” she said while addressing the event organised by Sheikh Russell Jatiya Shishu-Kishore Parishad at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital yesterday.
Russell was killed along with his two brothers, two sisters-in-law, father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, mother Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib and other family members on August 15, 1975 at their Dhanmondi residence.
“The killers wanted to wipe out Bangabandhu’s family, that is why they did not even spare little Russell,” the prime minister said. The family is now survived by Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana, and their children.
The prime minister also said she did not want to see any other children in the country suffer a similar fate as Russell.
“We want to give all children a safe future and make each of them worthy citizens to lead the country in all spheres,” she said.
“Russell was deprived of our father’s affections as Bangabandhu was mostly busy with politics, or was in prison for years. When we visited our father, we took Russell along. Despite being very young, he clearly understood that he was deprived of his father’s affections.”
The premier claimed that the history of Bangladesh was distorted after Bangabandhu’s assassination.
“The carnage of August 15 was not only aimed at annihilating a family. The conspiracy was hatched with a view to destroying the spirit of the Liberation War, distorting the history, diverting the country to another direction and putting forth the country to the hands of the defeated force,” she said.
“But now the spirit of the Liberation War has been implanted in the hearts of the new generation. No one will be able to misguide them in future,” she said.