AGENCIES, Dhaka: Finally, he got what he deserved — the gallows. In the early hours of Sunday, Bangladesh said it has executed a former army captain for his involvement in the 1975 coup in which the country’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated.
Abdul Majed was hanged at the Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj at 12:01 am on Sunday, bdnews24.com reported. On the run for nearly two-and-a-half decades, Majed was arrested in the capital city of Dhaka on Tuesday by a team of special officers.
On Friday, Majed’s wife and four relatives met him in the prison. President Abdul Hamid on Thursday rejected his mercy plea, removing the last technical hurdle for his hanging.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that the president’s decision meant there was no restrictions in executing the convict, who was arrested in a surprise development earlier this week from Dhaka’s Mirpur area.
Police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit arrested him in a predawn raid at Mirpur area while he was found roaming near a shrine. Home minister Asaduzzaman said besides bangabandhu’s assassination Majed also took part in the murders of four national level leaders in high-security Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.
Bangladesh intelligence knew Majed was hiding in India but eventually arrested him in his home country where he secretly returned last month. Majed is one of the six absconding ex-army officers who were handed down capital punishment after trial in absentia.
A prosecution lawyer said Majed told the court that he returned to Bangladesh on March 15 or 16 and also said he managed to live incognito in Kolkata for 23 years.
Twelve ex-military officers were sentenced to death for the August 15, 1975 killing of Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members. Five of them have been executed while one on the run abroad died of natural causes.
Bangabandhu’s elder daughter and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and younger daughter Sheikh Rehana survived as they were on a visit to the then West Germany at the time of the carnage, which also toppled Bangladesh’s post-independence government.
After the 1975 carnage, Majed was rehabilitated in civil service during the subsequent regime of former military-dictator-turned-politician Ziaur Rahman as an ex-cadre official and posted as the director of National Savings Department.