Dhaka – Police on Tuesday arrested one of the convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka, a senior minister said.
Retired captain Abdul Majed, who had reportedly been fugitive in India, was captured in Dhaka’s Mirpur neighbourhood by the special team of a police early hours of Tuesday, home minister Asaduzzamn Khan told reporters.
Novel coronavirus pandemic might have driven the fugitive away from abroad, he added.
Soon after the arrest, the convicted killer who was handed down with death penalty by the trial court in 1998, was taken to The court of chief metropolitan magistrate in Dhaka.
The court ordered him to be in jail asking the prosecution to produce before the trial court that passed the death sentence for the next course of action, state lawyer Hemayet Uddin said.
Referring to the police information presented to the court, the lawyer said Majed admitted that he had been hiding in Kolkata, the Indian State of West Bengal, for at least 21 years. He recently returned home.
Majed had been fugitive ever since a trial court in 1998 convicted him and 14 others and sentenced to death by firing squad for the assassination of Bangabandhu.
Later, the Supreme Court acquitted three from the charge and confirmed death penalty for 12 persons.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971 against Pakistan, was killed along with most of his family by a group of disgruntled army officers in a military putsch in 1975.
The assassination overthrew his elected government replaced later by military one that indemnified the self-declared killers. The subsequent governments – led by military dictators Zaiur Rahman and Hussain Muhammad Ershad, and later elected government of Zi’s widow Khaleda Zia, did not pursue trial into the massacre.
It needed 21 years to file a murder case after Bangabandhu’s eldest daughter Sheikh Hasina become prime minister in 1996.
Five of the convicts were executed in early 2010 after Hasina assumed office in second term.
Seven others, including Majed, went into exile in various different countries. Bangladesh Foreign Ministry formed a special cell to locate and bring back the killers hiding in different parts of the world.
The ministry found that one of the fugitives died in Zimbabwe in 2002. The others have been residing in different parts of the world, including the United States and Canada. Political negotiations were still with some of the countries to bring back the killers.