On Sunday, Bangladesh executed a former military captain for his involvement in the 1975 coup in which the country’s founder, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was assassinated, nearly four-and-a-half decades after the high-profile massacre.
Abdul Majed was arrested in Bangladesh’s Mirpur on April 7.
According to a prosecution lawyer, Majed secretly returned to the country on March 15 or 16 from Kolkata, where he had been living in secret for the past 23 years.
Who was Abdul Majed?
According to Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Majed, a Captain in the Bangladeshi Army, was involved in killing Mujib at his Dhaka residence on August 15, 1975, as well as in the murder of four of the country’s top leaders inside a high-security jail on November 3 in the same year.
Mujib was killed along with his wife and three sons, one of whom was aged 10. His daughters, the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived as they were abroad at the time.
As per a report in the Dhaka-based The Daily Star, Majed was directly involved in Mujib’s assassination. He was posted at a radio station along with Major Shariar, another accused in the murder.
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After the killings, Majed was in the employ of Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh’s military ruler and subsequent president.
According to Home Minister Khan, Ziaur had rewarded Mujib’s killers in several ways. Ziaur had Majed sent to Libya via Bangkok along with others involved in the killing, the report said.
Majed was also stationed at Bangladesh’s diplomatic mission in Senegal, and upon retirement from the Army, worked for the Bangladeshi government in various ministries.
In 1996, the Awami League came to power in the country, and the trial for convicting Mujib’s killers began the same year. Majed subsequently went into hiding.
The trial court sentenced Majed to death in 1998.
In 2001, the country’s High Court confirmed the death penalty for 12 of Mujib’s killers, including Majed. The Bangladesh Supreme Court upheld the judgement in 2009.
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In 2010, after their legal options had been exhausted, five of the convicts were hanged. Majed became the sixth to be hanged on Sunday.
Of the absconding convicts who are currently on death row, one died of natural causes while on the run in Zimbabwe, one is still hiding in Canada, and another is in the US, according to The Daily Star report.
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