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B'desh court bars publication of novel on 1975 coup

May 15, 2012 18:37 IST

Bangladesh's high court on Tuesday banned the publication of a political novel by popular writer Humayun Ahmed for "distortion of historical facts" about the assassination of the country's founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members in the 1975 coup.

"The high court ordered the ban on publication of the 'Deyal' (Wall) by Humayun Ahmed until the information were corrected," Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told PTI.

He said the bench comprising Justice A H M Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain asked the secretaries or top bureaucrats of information and education secretaries to contact the writer to get the information corrected.

The court issued the suo moto rule as Alam brought to its attention parts of the yet to be published novel carried by a Bangla newspaper.

"This political novel is the first such literary intervention on the August 15 carnage but unfortunately the facts were distorted which may carry misleading message to the future generation," Alam said explaining the reason behind the court order.

Bangabandhu is father of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who survived the coup along with her younger sister Sheikh Rehana as they were abroad at that time but putsch also killed their mother, three brothers including 10-year-old Sheikh Russel and two sisters in law and toppled the post independence government.

Alam said the published part of the novel described the scene of Russel's murder saying the killers dragged him out from behind a rack as he was trying save his life but "eyewitnesses and evidence said the 10-year-old boy was killed in a more merciless manner".

"An afraid Russel was kept standing in a row with the staff of the house when he was saying he wanted to got to his mother...       the killers took him out of the line saying he was being taken to his mother and shot him dead," Alam said.

The attorney general said the novel also portrayed the character of subsequent president and former member of the Mujib cabinet Mushaque Ahmed in a manner that may create an idea that was unaware of the putsch attempt beforehand while the evidence suggested he held secret meetings with the coup leaders ahead of the carnage.

Humayun Ahmed, a leading novelist and playwright, returned home from the United States earlier this week eight months after he went there for his cancer treatment while the government recently appointed him as special adviser to the Bangladesh Mission in UN visibly to assist him in undergoing treatment there.

A full-time author and movie-maker, he was a professor of the Department of Chemistry at University of Dhaka and he emerged as one of the most prominent novelist and story-writer of Bangla literature in the 1970s.

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