Dhaka, April 12: Capt (dismissed) Abdul Majed, one of the convicted killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was finally hanged early Sunday.After long 45 years into the assassination of Bangabandhu, Majed was hanged at Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj at 12:01am.
“He was hanged at 12.01 am,” Law Minister Anisul Huq told this correspondent.
A prison official said the civil surgeon declared Majed dead at 12.15 am.
He said other concerned officials including a magistrate, police representatives witnessed the execution as required by the law while inspector general of prisons Brigadier General AKM Mostafa Kamal Pasha also was present.
Pasha in a media briefing later in front of the jail complex said the body would now be handed over to Majed’s family members for burial.
“Officials concerned who were necessary to witness the execution under law were present,” he said, adding that this was the first case of the execution since Dhaka Central Jail was relocated in Keraniganj.
Jailor Mahbubul Islam later told BSS that the officials present included Dhaka’s deputy commissioner who is the district magistrate as well, police superintendent, the civil surgeon and the deputy inspector general of prisons.
Defying a COVID-19 restriction, a number of people emerged in front of the jail at midnight.
Majed was one of the remaining convicts of 1975 carnage when Bangabandhu was killed along with most of his family members and several others.
The execution took place a day after Majed’s wife and four other relatives met him at the jail.
President Abdul Hamid rejected Majed’s mercy petition three days ago, clearing ways for his execution hours after Majed sought clemency as the last ditch efforts to save his neck.
Dhaka’s District and Sessions Judge’s Court earlier on that day issued Majed’s death warrant after confirming his identity as he was produced on the dock under heavy security escort under a special arrangement amid COVID-19 nationwide shutdown.
The same court with Golam Rasul being the judge issued the original judgment in 1998 which was validated later by the High Court and eventually by Supreme Court’s apex Appellate Division.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal earlier said the “self confessed killer” was not only involved in Bangabandhu’s killing, but also took part in the subsequent brutal killing of the four national leaders inside the high security Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.
Majed was on the run for nearly two and half decades to evade justice and after his arrest he said he was hiding in India’s West Bengal for the past 23 years and returned to Bangladesh last month.
He was handed down the death penalty along with 12 other ex-military officers in 1998 and one of the six killers who were tried in absentia.
Five of the convicts were executed by now while one died a natural death as he was on the run abroad.
In a dramatic event a specialised police unit last week arrested Majed from near a shrine in the capital, after his return home for unknown reasons.
One of the prosecutors of Bangabandhu Murder Trial Mosharaf Hossain Kajol in late 1990s, recalled that Majed had joined the 1975 putsch as a junior officer of army’s the then lancer unit under Farook Rahman.
“Majed was a junior officer of the then lancer unit or tank regiment used in committing the carnage under Farook,” he said.
Alongside staging the massacre at 32 Dhammondi, Kajol said, Majed particularly unleashed the attack at the residence of the then water resources minister Abdur Rab Serniabat killing him along with several family members.
Months later, he said, Majed took part in the clandestine killing of the four national leaders inside high security Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975 night just when a counter coup dislodged the mudrers from Bangabhaban.
The previously hanged convicts were Farook Rahman, sacked lieutenant colonel Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer) and sacked major Bazlul Huda.
Another convict, sacked colonel Aziz Pasha, died a natural death in Zimbabwe while he was on the run.
Farook Rahman, Shahriar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed of artillery faced the trial in the judge court in person.
Huda was extradited from Thailald soon after the trial court delivered the judgment and years later and another convict Mohiuddin known as lancer Mohiuddin was sent back from the United States.