The High Court on Tuesday suspended the freedom fighter gallantry awards of four fugitive killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reports news agency UNB.
The four are — SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Moslehuddin alias Muslem Uddin Khan.
The HC bench of justice JBM Hassan and justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing a petition.
The HC also asked the cabinet secretary and the liberation war Affairs secretary to take necessary steps in this regard.
The court also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the inaction of the government in cancelling the gallantry awards of the four convicted killers should not be declared illegal.
Advocate Abdul Kaiyum Khan stood for the petitioner.
On 2 December, Supreme Court lawyer Subir Nandi Das filed the writ petition.
The government awarded Bir Sreshtho title to seven, Bir Bikrom to 175, Bir Pratik to 426 Freedom Fighters in 1973. On 15 December 1973, a gazette notification was issued in this regard
According to the writ, the government awarded Bir Sreshtho title to seven, Bir Bikrom to 175, Bir Pratik to 426 Freedom Fighters in 1973. On 15 December 1973, a gazette notification was issued in this regard.
Of them, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Moslehuddin alias Muslem Uddin Khan were awarded Bir Pratik.
Many countries including the USA, New Zealand and Canada have revoked the gallantry award of convicts, said the petition.
On 15 August 1975, Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu and most of his family members were assassinated by a cabal of military men.
Eighteen members of his family, including Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons — captain Sheikh Kamal, lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russel, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu, were, among others, killed on that fateful night.
On 19 November 2009, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of 12 convicted former army officials for the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Five killers of Bangabandhu — Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed — were hanged in January 2010.
Another fugitive convict, dismissed captain Abdul Majed, was hanged in April, 2019.
Another killer Aziz Pasha met natural death in Zimbabwe in 2001.
The fugitive killers are former Lieutenant Colonel Khandaker Abdur Rashid, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Risaldar Moslehuddin.
The government knows the whereabouts of Noor Chowdhury, Rashed Chowdhury and Moslehuddin while it was not sure about the other three fugitives — Rashid, Dalim and Majed.
According to the government, Noor Chowdhury has been living in Canada while Rashed Chowdhury in the USA.