Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the Jail Killing Day, a tainted section of the history of Bangladesh. On this day of 1975, the opponents of our independence brutally murdered our national leaders, former Vice-President Syed Nazrul Islam, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain (Rtd.) Mansur Ali, and former Home Minister A H M Quamruzzaman inside the Dhaka Central Jail.
After the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15th August 1975, the killers planned to make Bangladesh leaderless. And so, on 3rd November of 1975, they brutally murdered our four national leaders who have been the life-time political companion of Bangabandhu and who led the Liberation War in absence of Bangabandhu.
Not only in the Liberation War, but these four leaders have been beside Bangabandhu in all the movements. When Bangabandhu was kept in prison several times, these four leaders led the Awami League movements ahead.
In the description of the incident, the then jailor Aminur Rahman said, "The then IG Prisons Nuruzzaman entered the jail with five army officers. Then Khondaker Mostaq confirmed the name of four leaders over telephone. They were gathered in new cell and then shot and bayoneted by those army officers. Their dead bodies were handed over to their family members after two days of the murder under military guard. The then DIG prisons Kazi Abdul Awal secretly filed a murder case in Lalbagh Police Station on November 3." He said that the then IG Prisons Nuruzzaman knew that they would be killed inside the prison. But no other officer in prison could imagine that such a brutal assassination would happen that night.
The defeated enemies of the Great Liberation War of 1971 did not accept the independence of this country. To take revenge of the defeat, the conspirators killed the Father of the Nation. Then, under the leadership of the murderer Mostaq, that anti-liberation faction became involved in conspiracy to make this country loyal to Pakistan. And as part of their conspiracy, they killed four national leaders inside the prison.
In 21 years, the investigation and prosecution of the killings were kept closed. When Awami League came to power in 1996, they revived the process of the jail killing case. After the trial of more than 8 years, during the last coalition government, on October 20, 2004, the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge`s Court announced the verdict. Of the 20 accused, 15 former army officers were punished and another 5 were acquitted. Among the convicts three fugitive accused were given death sentence and other 12 were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The ruling Awami League took various programs to commemorate the `Jail Killing Day` that witnessed extreme cruelty. Besides, the people of the country are commemorating the untimely death of our four national leaders with great love and respect.