Bangladesh has executed a military captain less than a week after he was arrested after nearly 25 years on the run over the assassination of the country’s founding leader, the country’s law minister said Sunday.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was killed along with most of his family in a military coup on August 15, 1975, nearly four years after he led Bangladesh to independence from Pakistan.
In 1998, Abdul Majed was sentenced in absentia to death along with a dozen other army officers for the murders.
Bangladesh’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict in 2009 and five of the killers were executed several months later.
On Tuesday, counterterrorism police officers arrested Majed.
Bangladesh prison authorities carried out Majed’s execution by hanging days later, after the country’s president rejected a mercy plea from the convicted killer.
Majed was believed to have fled to India in 1996. He returned to Bangladesh last month.
Prime Minister Hasina, whose public celebrations this year for the centenary of her father’s birth have been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, was in Europe with her sister at the time of the 1975 attack.
In a video message, the country’s home minister this week called Majed’s arrest “the best gift of Mujib centenary year.”
The road to getting justice for the 1975 assassination was long, and the killing continues to poison Bangladesh’s murky political scene to this day.
For 21 years, an indemnity law enacted by the post-coup government prevented a prosecution of the killers. This was only overturned after Hasina came to power in 1996.