Wanted to name Zia as accused in Bangabandhu murder case: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said she had wanted to name Ziaur Rahman as an accused in the Bangabandhu murder case, as his involvement in the massacre was beyond doubt.
"There's no doubt that he was involved in the 1975 carnage. I wanted to name him as an accused, but the then home secretary Rezaul Hayat once said dead persons cannot be made accused. His (Zia) name should have been there as an accused (in the case)," she told the parliament today.
The Prime Minister said this while delivering her valedictory speech at the 14th session of the 11th parliament.
Hasina said Bangabandhu's killers Farooq and Rashid in their interviews with the BBC had said Zia was involved in the conspiracy. It was also stated in the books of Anthony Mascarenhas and Lawrence Lifschultz.
"So, how can they (BNP) deny it?" she questioned.
Referring to the ongoing debate on whether the grave at Dhaka's Chandrima Udyan contains Zia's remains, Hasina said a box was brought from Chattogram claiming it contained his body.
She said that freedom fighter Mir Shawkat and former President Hussain Muhammad Ershad had admitted that the box did not contain Ziaur Rahman's remains.
The Prime Minister said, "Discussion is on about Ziaur Rahman's grave -- whether his body is buried there. I do not want to say more about it."
PM also said that Zia's janaza was held without the body. A few days later a box was brought.
PM said the question has come up again and again in the parliament. "If the body was found, why weren't there photos of it? The body was identified by Mir Shawkat. I knew him as a freedom fighter."
"I also asked Ershad where is the body? He told me, 'Sister, where will I find the dead body?'," she said.
PM said that Ziaur Rahman was a freedom fighter and Bangabandhu had given him the gallantry award. That is all true. But what was his contribution?
Hasina said, "Col Aslam Beg (of Pakistan Army) wrote him (Zia) a letter during the Liberation War and I have that letter. I will show it in parliament next time. It needs to be part of the proceedings of parliament. In the letter, Col Aslam Beg wrote that he (Zia) was doing a very good job and that they were satisfied with his work. They asked him not to worry about his wife and son and that he will be given more work in the future."