13 Aug 2023, 19:13

Experts for urgent commission to dig into August 15 plot

By Mahmudul Hasan Raju and Maloy Kumar Dutta

DHAKA, Aug 13, 2023 (BSS)- Leading academics, lawyers, journalists underscored the need for formation an independent commission immediately to probe into the August 15, 1975 carnage, which stigmatized the Bangalee nation with the killing of country's architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members.

Further investigation in the August 15 incident is required to unearth the plot designed at home and abroad to kill Bangabandhu, they said adding that a complete inquiry and bringing the culprits to book can stop recurrence of such incident in future.

"Formation of a fact finding commission is crucial to unearth the detailed plot of August 15," noted academician Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique said.

"Till now we're mostly dependent on the declassified information of USA to study the plot behind the assassination of Bangabandhu. Now we need to explore the local sources to verify the information obtained from external sources to know the entire episode of the plot," Prof. Siddiqui, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University, said.

Bangabandhu killing plot was hatched under a long drawn process in several phases and if we could focus on every phase, the entire episode and links with the subsequent incidents could be known, he said.

Prof. Siddique said some masterminds were involved with the incident from abroad while the local assailants executed the plan and killed Bangabandhu, and there was a perception that America had a big hand behind it. So, everything should be focused for the sake of history," he said.

Citing the importance of forming the commission, Prof Arefin Siddique referred to the examples of the United States and India which constituted such fact finding missions after the assassinations of President John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajib Gandhi.

He said the then US President Lyndon B. Johnson had formed a commission on the assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, within seven days of the Kennedy killing on November 29, 1963.

Prof. Siddique said the Warren Commission had submitted its report within very short time and it was later made open for all and kept at libraries to allow the people to know about the facts of the assassination.

He said Bangabandhu assassination is not a killing of an individual or any family rather it meant for complete collapse of the country's security system.

The commission won't be meant to punish anyone afresh as the perpetrators of the carnage have already been exposed to justice, he said adding that people of the country have the right to know who killed their father of the nation."

Talking to BSS, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq said the government is preparing a framework to form a commission to unearth the August 15, 1975 plot.

"We would form a commission to investigate into the Bangabandhu killing and indentify the persons behind the scene," he said adding that the government has prepared the draft of this law and it would soon be presented in the parliament after getting prime minister's permission.

Anisul Huq, who served as a state lawyer in Bangabandhu murder case trial, said, the work of this commission will not be revenging so that none can raise any question regarding this in future.

Journalist and writer Syed Badrul Ahsan told BSS that that it is absolutely essential that those who planned the tragedy be identified and exposed before the country.

At the same time, the civilians who are so identified, dead or alive, should be placed on trial posthumously in the interest of justice, he said.

Mentioning the necessity of formation of a commission, Badrul Ahsan said, "I also think that those senior military officers who failed to act against Bangabandhu's assassins after the carnage and failed to save his government should be investigated."

"Their role in demonstrating loyalty to Moshtaque's usurper regime calls for serious inquiry," he said.

Noted lawyer and public prosecutor Advocate Mosharraf Hossain Kajol said a criminal case is a continuous process as it never gets finished for all.

Noting the importance of forming an independent commission, he said there is no legal or constitutional bar in forming a commission to identify the perpetrators of Bangabandhu murder," he said.

"We have to know about the persons who are the perpetrators of the whole thing," he said.