India could never harbour Mujib`s killers: Freedom fighter

Sheikh Mujib was killed 35 years ago with most of his family members.

Updated: Aug 15, 2010, 15:45 PM IST

Kathmandu: The killers of Bangladesh`s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman may have fled Bangladesh through Indian cities, but Indian government could never harbour them, a former Bangladeshi freedom fighter and advisor of the ruling party said.

Syed Rezaur Rahman, who is in Kathmandu to observe on August 15 - the day when Sheikh Mujib was killed 35 years ago with most of his family members - as Bangladesh`s National Mourning Day, said efforts were on by the Awami League government to locate the six men involved in the assassination who have gone into hiding in other countries.

"Media reports say while two are in the US, two are in Canada and another two are in India," Rahman said. "However, we believe that while they might have escaped from Bangladesh through Agartala in India or Kolkata, India would never harbour them."

Rahman, an advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s Awami League party and a prosecutor in the war trial begun by the government to bring to justice the perpetrators of rights violations during the Bangladesh independence movement in the 1970s, said India`s then prime minister Indira Gandhi, her Congress party and the Indian people had shown overwhelming support for the movement.

Rahman, a member of the erstwhile Mukti Bahini or Bangladesh Liberation Force, remembers being given arms training by the Indian Army in Agartala while others were trained in Haflong in Assam and Tandua, that is now in Uttarakhand.

The supply of arms to Bangladesh freedom fighters was also smuggled in through Indian states like Agartala.

"At that time, India gave shelter to 10 million refugees from East Pakistan," said Mumtaz Begum, former member of the National Assembly of East Pakistan that eventually became Bangladesh. "There were more of us staying in Agartala than Indians."

"It is, therefore, incredible that India will provide shelter to Mujib`s killers," Rahman added.

While five people were hanged in January for taking part in Mujib`s killing, six more are still at large, according to the Bangladesh government.

They are ex-lieutenant colonels Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, AM Rashed Chowdhury, SHBM Noor Chowdhury and ex-captains Abdul Majed and Moslehuddin.

This year, there were reports that the last two could be in Indian jails.