On November 3, commemorating the Jalladkhana tragedy, we express our utmost reverence for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, widely regarded as the founding father of the Bengali Nation. Additionally, we extend our heartfelt tribute to his steadfast comrades and devoted national leaders, including Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Mansur Ali, and Kamruzzaman. We also want to express our utmost reverence to everyone who sacrificed for their nation. As the forthcoming national parliamentary elections in 2023 draws near, there is a discernible sense of discontent and despair evident in the countenances of the BNP and its affiliated political entities. There is a prevailing discourse wherein Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her political party, the Awami League, consistently face severe criticism, unsupported accusations, slander, and baseless allegations. These circumstances resemble a series of past events characterized by comparable characteristics. The enduring impact of the actions perpetrated by those individuals is a source of ongoing distress for the Bengali population. Consequently, the inhabitants of Bengal must remain vigilant and steadfast for an extended duration.
On the evening of August 15, 1975, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, widely regarded as the father of the nation, was tragically assassinated, along with a significant number of his immediate family members and close relatives. The incident above took place in the country of Bangladesh. The perpetrators of this heinous homicide meticulously orchestrated and executed a ruthless act of mass violence, targeting not just vulnerable women and children but also pregnant women and other individuals who were unarmed. The Bengali population continues to endure the consequences of the brutality and depravity exhibited by their own community. Nevertheless, due to the divine blessings bestowed by Allah and the vastness of the natural world, their attempts to suppress the spirit of resistance proved unsuccessful. Presently, one can witness the emergence of a nascent Bangladesh, personified by Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, serving as a sanctuary and a beacon of optimism, accompanied by novel pillars of dependability.
Within the historical records of our nation, the date of November 3, akin to August 15, represents a significant chapter characterized by both profound distress and disgrace. The task of formulating a suitable reaction to the inexplicable assassination of four influential figures on a national scale at Jalladkhana, when they were in a state of vulnerability and confinement within their own cells, remains a formidable challenge. These four individuals were instrumental in spearheading the liberation war, establishing the Mujibnagar administration, and assuming leadership roles inside the government. Despite the captivity of Bangabandhu in a Pakistani jail throughout the Liberation War, they showed remarkable persistence in their leadership. Despite the unwavering bravery displayed by the Bengali nation, under the supervision of these four individuals, in the face of injustice and cruelty, the opposition to the 1971 revolt persisted in their endeavours without relenting.
During this particular instance, it is essential to consider the statement made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, wherein she emphasized the tragic events that occurred on August 15, 1975, resulting in the assassination of the founding father of the nation and his entire family. This series of killings extended to the four national leaders who were confined in solitary cells within the prison, ultimately leading to their massacre. The conspirators aimed to permanently eradicate the presence of the Bangladesh Awami League from the region of Bengal, thus extinguishing the essence of the Liberation War. Moreover, they intended to strip the Bengali populace of their capacity to exercise their electoral rights in selecting a leader.
If we conceptualize Bangabandhu as the foundational element of the nation of Bangladesh, these four leaders might be likened to the reliable pillars that support and safeguard the structure, ensuring the well-being and security of all individuals within. Nevertheless, the BNP and its proponents, who espouse the Pakistani ideology, not only dismantled the roof but also vandalized the pillars, preventing any future reconstruction of a roof atop these pillars. The malevolent individuals were unsuccessful in attaining their malicious objectives due to the combined factors of Allah’s boundless benevolence and the resilience exhibited by the populace, which effectively thwarted their endeavours. Presently, we are observing the emergence of a transformed Bangladesh, wherein Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina symbolizes optimism and stability with newly established foundations of reliability.
Similar to the significance of August 15, November 3 holds symbolic value as a representation of a distressing and degrading era in the annals of our country’s history. On the day mentioned above, a tragic incident occurred in Jalladkhana, located in Jhalokathi, resulting in the loss of lives of the four prominent leaders of our nation. It is worth noting that the victims were unarmed and held in a state of imprisonment at the time of the brutal slaying. The occurrence transpired within the geographical boundaries of Jhalokathi. These individuals assumed a crucial role in our struggle for independence and served as the principal designers of its strategic framework. During the initial years, they established Mujibnagar and took leadership roles within the organization. During the Liberation War, these four leaders provided guidance to our nation amidst the arduous pursuit of freedom, a period marked by significant bloodshed, while Bangabandhu remained incarcerated in a prison located in Pakistan. They were the individuals who exhibited resilience and steadfastness, refusing to capitulate despite the imminent threat of failure during our arduous endeavour for national autonomy and liberation. Due to their persistent endeavour, we could not pursue the anticipated trajectory towards progress and achievement. The occurrence of this act of cruelty in the Jalladkhana is unparalleled in the recorded chronicles of global history.
The indelible memory of the nation’s remarkable individuals and their selfless dedication to the cause of independence must forever endure, commemorating their invaluable contributions to the struggle for liberation. During that period, they were loyal companions and dedicated adherents of Bangabandhu. During the Awami League conference held in 1964, Bangabandhu was re-elected as the General Secretary, while Tajuddin Ahmed was appointed the Organizing Secretary. On February 5, 1966, Tajuddin Ahmed was present in Lahore, Pakistan, when Bangabandhu raised the issue of the Six-Point Movement at the All-Party Conference. The act was performed by Bangabandhu in the presence of Tajuddin Ahmed. Tajuddin Ahmed assumed the position of General Secretary of the Pakistan Awami League in the aftermath of Bangabandhu’s proclamation of the Six-Point Movement on February 18, 19, and 20, which took place at the Hotel Eden in Dhaka. Syed Nazrul Islam assumed the position of the inaugural Co-Chairman alongside Captain M. Mansur Ali, who served as the other Co-Chairman. A.H.M. Kamruzzaman was democratically elected to take the role of General Secretary within the Pakistan Awami League. After assuming the position of General Secretary, Tajuddin Ahmed wholeheartedly embraced the enduring responsibilities associated with his association with Bangabandhu.
Syed Nazrul, Tajuddin, and Kamruzzaman emerged as triumphant contenders in the momentous general election conducted in 1970, eventually securing positions in the Pakistan National Assembly by their electoral victories. The allocation of places within Bangabandhu’s cabinet was established with the formation of the government by the Awami League. During a parliamentary meeting held on February 23, 1971, in the Eden Building located in Dhaka, Bangabandhu assumed the role of the National Assembly’s leader, Tajuddin Ahmed served as the leader of the Parliamentary Party, Kamruzzaman acted as the Secretary, Yusuf Ali fulfilled the position of Chief Whip, and Abdul Mannan held the role of Whip. The appointment of Captain M. Mansur Ali as the next head of the Regional Council was determined. Upon assuming the role of Prime Minister of Pakistan, Bangabandhu prioritized establishing a succession plan whereby Mansur Ali would take leadership of East Pakistan. To achieve this objective, he granted his approval for the election of Mansur Ali to the Regional Council. Tajuddin Ahmed played a crucial role in the leadership team during the War of Liberation in 1971, managing day-to-day operations astutely.
The successful liberation of our beloved homeland was made possible through the collaborative endeavours of the four prominent national leaders. The Moshtaque Gang, comprised of individuals with criminal tendencies, unlawfully seized power in the government after perpetrating the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu and his family. The individuals in question were compelled to resign due to their apprehension regarding the potential outbreak of an immediate and forceful uprising. Numerous high-ranking corporate leaders, including individuals from prominent firms such as the Big Four, were incarcerated, while others chose to conceal their whereabouts. The leaders who managed to survive convened a meeting with the recently elected President, Khondaker Mushtaq Ahmed, and reached a mutual agreement with him, whether through formal or covert means. There was a concern among individuals that the removal of the Big Four could potentially result in a lack of successors to carry out Bangabandhu’s political leadership, even in the event of an armed uprising. The Moshtaque Gang posited the notion that the removal of the Big Four would not only facilitate the occurrence of an armed revolt but it would also lead to the repudiation of Bangabandhu’s beliefs. The concepts above provided the impetus for the Moshtaque Gang, who strategically devised and executed the ruthless assassination of Bangabandhu and three other prominent national figures.
To eliminate the Moshtaque Gang, the perpetrators employed a secure facility within a correctional institution, typically under the supervision of the government. The provision of adequate security measures for prisoners falls under the purview of the state, which is also entrusted with the obligation of safeguarding the well-being and safety of each incarcerated individual. To gain unauthorized access to the correctional facility, the perpetrators engaged in unlawful activities and compromised the integrity of the state’s security measures. Consequently, all rules and regulations within the institution were violated. Following the deliberate assassination of the four leaders, the perpetrators made a hasty retreat, displaying a resolute determination to guarantee their own demise. Throughout human history, instances of a violent murder posing a significant threat to national security within a state’s borders have been exceedingly rare. The Moshtaque Gang effectively terminated the court proceedings, while General Ziaur Rahman, serving as the Chief Martial Law Administrator during that period, suspended the assassin’s trial above. In Jalkhna, it was mandatory to make a daily report if an unlawful homicide case was presented.
Consequently, it was required that the information be submitted daily, with a frequency of every 24 hours. Following a homicide incident within the confines of a correctional facility, the custodian of Jailkhana prison, Mr. Aminur Rahman, undertook the task of documenting the event by producing a comprehensive report. In this report, Mr. Rahman attributed the responsibility for the murder of Raisaldar Moshhtaque Uddin. An official complaint was filed at the district court of Lalbagh Thana on November 4. The indictment made mention of the individual named Raisaldar Moshtaque Uddin and suggested that, under his supervision, a group of four to five military soldiers gained access to the correctional facility and carried out the execution of the four commanders. The case also indicated that Uddin was accountable for the execution of the operation. Initially, projectiles were discharged, followed by the perpetrators ensuring the demise of all individuals by the utilization of bayonets for stabbing.
The report on the district killings was received by Home Secretary Nuruzzaman Haoladar, who is also the Inspector General (Prison). The case was filed on November 5 and subsequently conveyed. On November 6, a divisional investigative committee comprised Justice Ahsanuddin Chowdhury, Justice KE M Sobhan, and Justice Mohammad Hossein. On the other hand, Jiyaur Rahman became the most influential figure in the country on November 7, and he decided to halt the activities of this inquiry committee at that time. On the other hand, the investigative report on the killings in the district has vanished from the Ministry of Home Affairs for no apparent reason. Not only were the murderers’ trials put on hold, but they were also offered jobs in various nations, including Bangladesh’s embassies and other locations worldwide, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. These cold-blooded murderers have been accessible in Bangladesh for a significant amount of time without ever having to face justice. The previous power structure completely disregarded the issue. However, soon after the Awami League was elected to power in the general election held in 1996, the government of that party began taking steps to revive this particular issue. On October 15 1998, after 23 arduous years, a complaint was submitted to the court against 23 people.
On October 20, 2004, nearly three decades after the incidents in the region, the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court delivered its verdict, imposing the death penalty on three perpetrators (Mosleh Uddin, Marfot Ali Shah, and Md. Abuul Hashem) and sentencing 12 others to life imprisonment. The individuals receiving life sentences were identified as Lt. Colonel Syed Faruq Rahman, Lt. Colonel Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Major (Retd.) Bazlul Huda, Major (Retd.) A.K.M. Mahiuddin Ahmed, Colonel (Retd.) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Colonel (Retd.) Shariful Haque Dalim, and Colonel (Retd.) M.B. Notably, former Minister K.M. Obaidur Rahman, Shah Moazzem Hossain, Nurul Islam Manzur, and Taheruddin Thakur were acquitted in today’s proceedings.
In contrast, it is noteworthy that in 2008, the High Court upheld the death sentence of Muslem Uddin while simultaneously exonerating Marfot Ali and Hashem Mridha from their respective convictions. Subsequently, individuals such as Khondaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haq Dalim, Noor Chowdhury, Rashed Chowdhury, Ahmad Shariful Hossain, Kismat Hashem, and Najmul Hossain Anser were sentenced to life imprisonment for their criminal activities. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Abdul Majed, who had previously been sentenced to life imprisonment, was executed after being discovered deceased outside the nation.
The fugitives who have managed to evade capture are presently taking refuge in various nations across the globe, including Pakistan, Canada, and the United States of America. This has prompted four influential figures within the government to advocate for the repatriation of these escaped prisoners. Kairuzzaman Liton, the son of Kamruzzaman Liton, addressed the media and emphasized the necessity of completing the trial process to ensure justice. The government is actively engaged in efforts to ameliorate the situation, and there is a hopeful anticipation that they will succeed in locating the fugitives and facilitating an expeditious legal procedure. On April 15, 2013, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh issued its final ruling on the case of Tajuddin Ahmed. Currently, all ten of the escaped prisoners remain at large. The individuals named Moslem Uddin, Marfot Ali, and Abdul Hashem Mridha have been condemned to death. Additionally, Khondaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haq Dalim, Noor Chowdhury, Rashed Chowdhury, Ahmad Shariful Hossain, Kismat Hashem, and Najmul Hossain Anser have all received life imprisonment sentences.
It is thought that former inmates of the Palace are currently residing in various nations throughout the world, including the United States of America, Canada, and Pakistan. The call to return the escaped prisoners back to the country has been made by four prominent national figures. The statement was made by Kairuzzaman Liton, who is Tajuddin Ahmed’s son. He claimed that until the trial is over, it is impossible to say that justice has been served. Through their expertise, qualifications, and unwavering patriotism, these four national leaders have set a rare example of what it means to be our nation’s leader and have garnered the respect and love of the next generation. The date of November 3, previously announced as the day of national release, has now been designated a national holiday. The four national leaders of Bangladesh, along with the younger generation of the country’s population, need to learn how to move the country ahead while still honouring the treasured dream of Bangladesh’s four great leaders. The lofty aspirations of the national leaders of Bangladesh and the entire Bangladeshi population are about to come true, and when that happens, their souls will finally find rest.
The country has made progress toward the goal they had in mind thanks to the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is guiding the country in the right direction.” On November 3, the solemn recollection of the enormous sacrifice made by our national leaders throughout the struggle for national independence and the Liberation War ought to once again enter our hearts. In contemporary times, the leaders at the national level emphasize their noteworthy role in fostering economic self-sufficiency in Bangladesh, as well as effectuating the country’s transition from poverty to the esteemed status of Golden Bengal. Their departure resulted in a lasting and unyielding sentiment of unwavering devotion to the country. They embody the essence of patriotism, demonstrating steadfast allegiance to their country, unwavering belief in the visionary leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and firm commitment to the welfare of future generations. The achievement of peace for deceased individuals may be realized through the successful implementation of the ambitious objectives of leaders. We know that the Bangladesh government and the renowned Prime Minister Jononetree Sheikh Hasina will take the required steps to achieve this goal, and she will continue voicing for peace, harmony and humanity to upgrade the status of Bangladesh in the world context.