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15th Aug massacre was to kill independence, ideology: PM

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FT ONLINE

Accusing again Ziaur Rahman of his involvement in the killing of Bangabandhu, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the August 15 massacre was aimed to kill independence and the ideology with which Bangladesh was born.

“The 15th August massacre was not for only murdering a family, it was an effort to kill the victory of independence and the ideology with which Bangladesh was liberated in 1971 … those who couldn’t accept Bangladesh’s victory brutally assassinated Bangabandhu,” she said.

The premier was addressing a voluntary blood donation programme and discussion in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32 in the capital last afternoon.

Bangladesh Krishak League (BKL) arranged the blood donation programme and discussion as part of the month-long programme of Bangladesh Awami League and its associate organizations marking the 42nd National Mourning Day commemorating the martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 42 years ago.

Awami League Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Mohammad Nasim and Dr Abdur Razzak, Joint Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, Organizing Secretaries AFM Bahauddin Nasim and Enamul Haque Shamim, Relief and Social Affairs Secretary Faridunnahar Laily and BKL General Secretary Advocate Khandakar Shamsul Haque Reza took part in the discussion.

BKL President Alhaz Motahar Hossain Mollah presided over the function.

Earlier, the prime minister unveiled the cover of a BKL publication — “Krishaker Kantho”.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said those who were freedom fighters in name only and whose hearts remained in Pakistan unleashed the destruction of the country by carrying out the carnage in 1975. “Through this they tried to take the country backward,” she said.

The premier said such incidents were staged in different parts of the world at that time. “But eliminating a family is rare in history,” she said, adding the massacre that happened in Karbala was repeated in Bangladesh in 1975.

Describing the August 15 killing as the blackest chapter for the country, the prime minister said there is no doubt that Ziaur Rahman was equally involved with killer Moshtak in the murder of Bangabandhu.

Sheikh Hasina said Moshtak grabbed power through killing, coup and conspiracy and declared himself as the president violating the Constitution. “Later, he appointed Zia as the army chief,” she said.

The infamous indemnity ordinance was passed to save Bangabandhu’s killers and the ordinance was ratified through the 5th amendment to the Constitution, she said. But Moshtaque couldn’t stay in power more than two and a half years and Chief Justice ASM Sayem became the president, she said.

The prime minister said removing Chief Justice ASM Sayem from the post of president at gunpoint, Ziaur Rahman declared himself as the president and the chief martial law administrator. “Zia at that time held three posts simultaneously,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu’s killers audaciously said that none will be able to try them as Ziaur Rahman rewarded them by giving postings to different Bangladesh missions abroad.

The prime minister said Ziaur Rahman not only gave awards to the killers of Bangabandhu, he also stopped the war criminals’ trial that Bangabandhu had initiated.

Ziaur Rahman put war criminals in the cabinet by bringing them back in the country. He appointed identified war criminal Shah Azizur Rahman as the prime minister and Abdul Alim and Abdul Mannan as ministers, she said.

The PM said what a bad luck of the Bangalee nation was that those who were the cohorts of the Pakistani occupation forces and who showed the path to the occupation forces to kill freedom fighters, violate mothers and sisters and torch village after village became the prime minister and ministers.

“It was Ziaur Rahman who ruled the country in connivance with war criminals,” she said, adding coups took place in the armed forces one after another when Zia was in power and thousands of freedom fighter soldiers were killed in those coups.

The prime minister said Ziaur Rahman took the country to the brink complete destruction by shattering the hopes and aspirations of the people.

Sheikh Hasina said the people suffered pain and sorrow for 21 years in this way and they didn’t see the light of hope. Except Zia’s cohorts and sycophants who amassed money and assets by adopting corruption as their policy, all were exploited and deprived and remained in hunger.

“Think for once what pathetic days the people of the country spent at that time,” she said.

Paying rich tributes to the Father of the Nation, the premier said he had struggled throughout his life for the welfare of the farmers, workers and students. “Bangladesh would have turned into a developed and prosperous nation within 10 years of independence had he been alive,” she said.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina mentioned the Bangabandhu government’s achievements in various sectors.

The prime minister said Bangabandhu gave everything to the people in his entire life and in exchange he didn’t take anything. “But he was buried with relief cloth … he passed with only relief cloth which the poor people were supposed to get, nothing else. . . And he shed blood,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina urged the people to repay the debt of his blood by bringing a smile on the faces of the poor and distressed people. “Bangabandhu wanted to change the lot of the people by removing their sorrow and poverty. So let’s come to materialise his dream,” she said.

The prime minister said her government has been striving to change the fate of the framers who were always deprived and neglected. “Bangabandhu wanted to bring a smile on the faces of the common people and our aim to materialise his dream,” she said.

She asked the BKL leaders and workers to work for the welfare of the peasants and gave attention so that the programmes that were taken for them (farmers) are executed properly.

-NK

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