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B'desh seeks India's help to track Mujib's killers

May 05, 2010 20:10 IST
Bangladesh on Friday sought assistance from New Delhi to track down six fugitive ex-army officers believed to be hiding in different countries, including India, for the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"We have sought Indian assistance in tracking down and arrest the remaining killers," Home Minister Sahara Khatun told media persons as newly appointed Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Rajeet Mitter called on her at her Bangladesh Secretariat office.

Five other fellow convicts were hanged for the August 15, 1975 assassination of country's founder Rahman, who is popularly known as 'Bangabandhu' or "friend of Bengal".

Asked if they discussed the return of at least two of the absconding leaders who were reportedly hiding or languishing in jails in India, Khatun said, "We have also discussed the matter."

"We asked India to return them if they really are staying there," Khatun said.

Bangladesh and India currently do not have any extradition treaties, but the two countries in recent years exchanged a number of Indian separatist elements and Bangladesh gangsters who had taken refuge in each other's countries to evade justice at home.

The Home Minister's comments came as Bangladesh intensified a diplomatic campaign also engaging the Interpol to return
six fugitive killers and called upon the foreign countries to extend hands in tracking them down and extradite.

Five condemned convicts of the Bangabandhu murder trial were hanged in January this year after a protracted trial process as their petitions for review of the earlier apex court judgement were rejected. They were lieutenant colonels Syed Faruk Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer), Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and sacked major Bazlul Huda.

The six absconding convicts are ex-lieutenant colonels Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, AM Rashed Chowdhury, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, ex-captain Abdul Majed and army risaldar Moslehuddin. According to earlier media reports, the last two were serving jail terms in India.

Interpol last year issued a second "red warrant" renewing an earlier one to track down the absconding assassins and coup plotters in May last year after the process for tracking them down was virtually stalled for years during the ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's past Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led government.

Father of incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Rahman was killed along with most of his family members in a predawn putsch on August 15, 1975 when his post independence Awami League government was also toppled.
Anisur Rahman in Dhaka
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