By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – A top Bangladeshi official claimed that a Canadian court’s verdict has cleared the way of dialogue between the two states over bringing back of a convicted killer of country’s founder from Canada as he has been reportedly absconding there for many years.
“The verdict of the Canadian Federal Court is one step progress in the way of bringing back Nur Chowdhury [self-confessed and convicted killer of Bangladesh’s founding leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman],” Bangladesh’s Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq told in an exclusive interview with the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency on late Saturday.
Canadian government earlier refused to return Chowdhury to Bangladesh as the Bangladeshi Apex court had already awarded capital punishment to him in his absence.
Mujib was killed along with his wife and three sons including 10-year-old Sheikh Russell on Aug. 15, 1975 while his two daughters, incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived the carnage as they were then in abroad.
After 35 years of the killing, five self-confessed killers — all former top army officials — were hanged to death in 2010 while one died of natural causes. The rest six convicts are still at large and Nur is one of them.
Bangladesh government is trying to bring them home to execute the capital punishment. The ruling Awami League party also committed to hold trial of Mujib’s killers in its electoral manifesto in 2008.
The minister said: “It [Canadian court’s verdict] also allowed disclosing Nur’s immigration status in Canada which was, earlier, closed by the Canadian government, saying that it was a shut case.''
“We can now exchange information with the Canadian government and give correct documents if Nur had given any wrong information to the Canadian authorities. We will try to utilize this opportunity to expedite the extradition process of Nur,'' the report quoted Huq as saying.
Citing Nur’s latest situation in Canada, the minister added: “The Canadian government, earlier, used to tell us ‘There is capital punishment in your country. And you have already awarded him (Nur) that punishment. So, we will not handover him to you’. But we came to know that Nur was not given political asylum there rather his deportation was also postponed.”