‘B’desh govt mulling commission to unmask 1975 coup plotters’
“We have been able to expose to justice those who were directly involved in the killing. Now those who were behind- the-scene masterminds should be unmasked in the interest of history,” he said at an event at attorney general’s office.
“So we are thinking to form a commission to find out their identities,” Huq said.
He said if the conspirators of Sheikh Mujib’s killing are dead, they cannot be tried as there is no provision under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for posthumous trial. “But if one’s involvement is proved, people will see (the thruth of that person).”
Huq’s comments came as Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Arefin Siddique recently floated a similar proposal, saying the formation of a fact-finding commission was crucial to unearth the plot “in totality”.
Siddique claimed the plot for the August 15 coup was hatched under a long-drawn process in several phases and some of the behind-the-scene masterminds could have taken part from abroad - sitting in Washington or elsewhere.
Sheikh Mujib – fondly called the ‘Bangabandhu’ – was killed in the predawn raid at his Dhanmandi house along with his wife, three sons, two daughters in-law and several presidential aides and Awami League leaders. His two daughters - Sheikh Hasina, now prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana - escaped the bloodbath as they were in Germany.
Unrest followed the carnage, and then deputy army chief general Ziaur Rahman emerged as the strongman of Bangladesh. The regimes that took over protected the killers by enacting an indemnity law and rewarded several of the coup plotters with diplomatic posting abroad.
In 1996, when Hasina’s Awami League returned to power after 21 years following a landmark general election, Awami League scrapped the indemnity law and initiated a process of delayed trial of the perpetrators of the carnage.
After a protracted legal procedure, 12 former army officers were handed down death sentences and five of them were eventually hanged on January 28, 2010. The rests were tried in absentia.