Reiterating that Ziaur Rahman was also involved in the plot to assassinate Bangabandhu, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said she cares little about conspiracies and vowed afresh to take Bangladesh to its desired goal.
“I’ve been observing conspiracies since my childhood … I don’t care. I believe we can reach our desired goal as long as the Almighty Allah, people and the blessings of my parents are with me,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this when leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies went to her official residence Ganobhaban to greet her on the occasion of her homecoming day.
On this day in 1981, Sheikh Hasina returned home after six years in exile following the brutal assassination of Father of the Nation and the architect of independent Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on August 15, 1975.
Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana escaped the carnage as they were in Germany at that time.
Earlier, the leaders of AL and its associate bodies greeted the Prime Minister by presenting bouquets and chanting slogans.
Referring to the killing of Bangabandhu along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975, Hasina said, “I don’t want anyone to lose all of one’s near and dear ones in a single day like us because it’s very hard to express such pain.”
Alleging that then AL leaders and Bangabandhu’s Cabinet member Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed and some others had been involved in the killing conspiracy, she said, “Own enemies are dangerous. Outsiders cannot get any chance to cause any harm unless one’s own people betray.”
Ziaur Rahman had a part in the conspiracy although Bangabandhu had resolved his family problem and created a post for him and appointed Zia there, the Prime Minister said.
She went on saying, “Zia along with her wife (Khaleda Zia) used to go to the Dhanmondi 32 house almost every week. There’s no warmth among them and their goal was only to hatch conspiracy which we couldn’t perceive as we’re always very open minded.”
Hasina said the motive behind the August 15 killing was to completely change the history of Bangladesh, play ducks and drakes with the fate of the country’s people and make the victory in the War of Liberation meaningless.
Mentioning that it was Mushtaq who made Ziaur Rahman the Army chief, she said it proves that they had the linkage and had been involved in the conspiracy.
Recalling the unforgettable days of August in 1975, the Prime Minister said just before 15 days of the August 15 massacre, she and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana went abroad on a short visit, but that ‘black day’ of 1975 snatched everything from their lives as well as voting rights of the country’s people.
The emotion-choked Prime Minister said, “He (Bangabandhu) had devoted his entire life towards changing people’s fate alongside bringing the long-cherished independence before the nation. But, he was killed in our independent country which he had never imagined.”
She alleged that the disgruntled army officers not only attacked their Dhanmondi 32 house, but also that of her two paternal aunts and killed near and dear ones one after another on that day.
Hasina said she and her younger sister Rehana reached Delhi on August 24 and later met then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who extended cooperation in many ways to them.
She alleged Ziaur Rahman had directed not to allow them in Bangladesh and he even did not allow Rehana to renew her passport.
Hasina said she returned home in 1981 for ensuring people’s rights to vote and food. “After losing all near and dear ones, I came to the country for my love for people and building a hunger and poverty-free Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Bangabandhu.”
Going down the memory lane, she said she returned home on a rainy and stormy day when thousands of people braving inclement weather assembled at the airport to welcome her. “When I returned home, there’s human sea of millions of people and there’s love for me. But my most beloved persons whose love I expected most were not there,” she said referring to Bangabandhu and others who were assassinated on the fateful night of August 15.