Sheikh Hasina

President Ziaur Rahman did not allow me to enter our Dhanmondi-32 Residence:

Sheikh Hasina

Tears rolled down her cheeks and emotion gripped the audience as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina narrated the massacre at Dhanmondi-32 and unkind behaviour of a government after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975.
"When I came back in 1981 from exile, the then government of president Ziaur Rahman did not allow me to enter our Dhanmondi-32 residence where my father along with most of my family members were brutally killed," she said.

Speaking at a prize giving ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium yesterday morning, she said even General Zia did not allow her to organise a milad mahfil seeking eternal peace of the martyrs of August 15 inside the residence.

"It was Zia who forced us to hold milad on the road for my parents and others who were killed in the August 15 massacre," said Hasina.

Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, who along with her younger sister survived the massacre, described as crime against humanity, said president Zia imposed restriction on opening of the residence from where Bangabandhu led all anti-autocratic movements.
Later, the government led by Justice Abdus Satter opened the historic house and handed over it to Hasina. "When I entered the house, I saw dried blood everywhere and clothes and other valuables were seen scattered on the floor".

The killers not only killed the country's founding father along with most of his family members, they also looted all valuables from the house, Hasina said.

There was pin-drop silence in the Osmani Memorial auditorium when the premier was narrating the tale of the blackest chapter of the world's history. People specially the children who joined the function were seen to wipe their eyes when she was describing the barbaric incident.
Hasina said after receiving the house, she and her younger sister decided to make it a museum for the people of the country. "I thought that the people of the country are the owner of the house as Bangabandhu launched all of his pro-people movements from the house," she added.
The premier said she inaugurated the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on August 14, 1994 and after that the museum remains opened for public.

Later, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Memorial Trust was formed on April 11, 1994 with an aim to provide various services for the common people.
According to sources, 1,000-1,200 students are being provided stipend from the trust each month to meet their education expenses. The trust arranged free medical services across the country from Jan 10 to March 17 this year when over 8 lakh patients were given medical services.
The trust will set up a medical college and a nursing institute in Gazipur to provide medical services for the common people.

The Convenor of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum presided over the function while Curator of the museum Syed Siddiqur Rahman, DG of Bangla Academy Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan and Vice-Chancellor of National University Kazi Shahidullah, among others, addressed it.

Bangladesh's history in its first decade of freedom was fundamentally a story of bloodletting. You do not have to go into research to arrive at such a morbid conclusion. But you cannot escape feeling a certain sense of irony as you recapitulate the whole episode of the country's actually claiming, and taking, its place in the global community. If the war of liberation in 1971 saw three million Bengalis dying at the hands of the Pakistan armed forces, the post-liberation era turned into a long tale of blood and gore as most of the new nation's founding fathers and war heroes bit the dust through bloody coups d'etat and internecine armed conflict. The series of tragic happenings that engulfed Bangladesh between August and November 1975, followed by the execution of Abu Tahir, a soldier for freedom, in July 1976, will remain a blot on the conscience of a nation which yet struggles to find a way out of the woods for itself.
In May 1981 came the assassination of General Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh's first military dictator, at the hands of soldiers who in the event could not quite succeed in pulling off what they had thought would be a revolution. Within days of Zia's murder, it would be the turn of General M.A. Manzoor, ostensibly the leader of the uprising, to be killed in cold blood by Zia loyalists. All of this is what the country has known over the years. In times that are as far removed from the 1970s and 1980s as they can be, that are clearly a whole lot more transparent than what one could have imagined two or three decades ago, it is now possible for Bengalis to grasp a little more conclusively the factors --- intrigues, conspiracy, et al --- that went into the making of an era that remains sinister in its elemental darkness. And into this story now steps Zayadul Ahsan with his hair-raising account of a failed coup that, once the plot failed to take off, was to leave scores upon scores of soldiers dead after October 1977. Originally conceived and presented as a series of investigative reports for the daily Bhorer Kagoj by the writer, this work is a searing account of the innocent men of the Bangladesh air force who were forced to march to the gallows on flimsy, unproven charges of complicity in the revolt that left some senior and reputed officers of the BAF murdered at the old Tejgaon airport on 2 October 1977. And those were exciting times, not so much for the fact that the struggle for ascendancy among the various politicised factions of the military went on in a seemingly endless pattern as for the truth of what was happening around the hijacked Japan Airlines aircraft at Dhaka airport.
The conspirators struck at the precise moment when senior air force men, including their chief Abdul Gaffar Mahmood, remained busy in negotiations with the Red Brigade who had seized the plane and forced it to land in Bangladesh's capital. Competent officers, among whom was Ross Masood, were lined up by rebellious air force men before the hangar and simply mown down. The question remains, though: did these men, egged on by individuals whose identities remain yet unknown, decide to strike on 2 October because the opportunity to stage their coup on 28 September, air force day, was lost when President Ziaur Rahman informed Air Vice Marshal Mahmood he was unable to be part of the celebrations? Ahsan comes up with a hint: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, meeting Zia in Cairo days before 28 September, warned him of a plot to assassinate the Bangladesh leader over the next few days. Zia took the hint seriously; and then came the suddenness of the JAL hijacking. As the talks with the Red Brigade neared an end, elements in the army and air force inside Dhaka cantonment went on the offensive against the Zia regime. A day earlier, in Bogra, disturbances in the cantonment left one person dead, three wounded and two missing. In Dhaka, at Tejgaon airport, eleven air force officers were murdered alongside ten soldiers from the army. Forty soldiers were left injured.

The facts Zayadul Ahsan presents are set off in an eerie pattern from the moment Zia loyalists, Mir Shawkat Ali for instance, move resolutely against the mutineers. Over the next twenty days or so, it would be an operation of relentless cruelty as the Zia regime, guided by vindictiveness and palpably oblivious to all norms of civilised behaviour, rounded up hundreds of innocent air force men and inaugurated what would eventually turn into a story of unimaginable horror. Kangaroo courts, officially described as military tribunals, swiftly handed down verdicts of guilty on those taken into custody; and night after night, inside the grim premises of the central jail in the capital, the bodies of hanged men dropped into pits for hours on end. It was Azimpur graveyard which, throughout October 1977, saw brisk nocturnal activity as the dead men were hastily buried, unbeknownst to their families. The case of the widow Aleya remains poignant, and heart-wrenching. In the days and weeks following his disappearance, she moved heaven and earth for news of her airman husband who had gone missing after 2 October. No one deigned to keep her informed until much later, to let her know in a terse notification that he had been executed for his part in the 'conspiracy'. There are other accounts, from men who were among the lucky few to escape the noose but nevertheless found themselves condemned to varied terms of imprisonment. The strand of thought throughout the stories runs along similar patterns. The innocent paid for crimes they did not commit; and ruthlessness was what the Zia military dictatorship employed in its efforts to survive and to ensure that no dissent remained to threaten its grip on power. Ironically, the fearsome Zia was to die in a botched coup slightly over three years later.
Zayadul Ahsan's work is much more than a record keeping of one of the more shameful episodes in the nation's history. It is, in very large measure, a call for those who perpetrated the atrocities on the hundreds of innocent men in the armed forces in light of the 2 October 1977 tragedy to be brought to account. Most of the men who presided over the sham trials of these men, sending them to quick death and putting a few others through inexplicable prison terms, are still alive. Some retired as senior officers in the military, especially in the air force. Others, non-commissioned officers who cheerfully served on the tribunals, went on to serve in the forces till their retirement. In the overweening interest of democratic accountability, all these elements responsible for the horrific executions in the dark need to be traced in order to be brought to justice. Ahsan's work is an eye-opener. It is a warning against men who, in the manner of Ziaur Rahman, think nothing of shooting people down in order to entrench themselves in political illegitimacy.
Syed Badrul Ahsan is Editor, Current Affairs, The Daily Star.

Historic 17 May, the Homecoming Day of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Awami League has chalked out elaborate programs to celebrate the day. It was raining on the 17th May of 1981, but hundreds and thousands of people were waiting outside the Dhaka International Airport, waiting for her to arrive. After waits of long hours, the plane carrying Sheikh Hasina landed at the airport. She has arrived. She was overwhelmed with emotions which was apparent as she kissed the soil of her country immediately getting off from the aircraft. The crowd was hailing wishes for Hasina as well as slogans for the long cherished desire for trial for Bangabandhu murder. Sheikh Hasina was highly welcomed by the countrymen. Her eyes were full of tears. A new era began on 17th May 1981 in Bangladesh. "I have come to stay beside the people of Bangla and take part in the struggle for freedom . . . I have come not to be the leader of the Awami League. I want to stand by you as your sister, as your daughter and as a worker of Awami League believing in ideals of Bangabandhu, " she said in her first public remarks on her return on that day. The crowd of tens of thousands of people chanted in chorus - -- 'Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu' - the slogan of the Liberation War which was virtually prohibited at that time. The capital had turned into a city of procession yesterday (May 17). Even strong storm and showers could not hold back the processions. In that day, it was not possible to maintain discipline in the airport after 3:30 pm. When the plane carrying Sheikh Hasina was sighted in the sky, thousands of enthusiastic people entered the airport defying all controls and discipline. "The plane had to land taking risks, to some extent". After frantic efforts, volunteers and security people paved ways for Sheikh Hasina to disembark from the aircraft when she waved her hands to the cheering people. She boarded on a truck at 4:32 pm amid thunderous slogans "we pledge to you -- Sheikh Hasina - we will avenge the killing of Bangabandhu" as eyes of many were soaked with tears. Sheikh Hasina also broke into tears when Abdur Razzak garlanded her. The truck needed three hours to carry Sheikh Hasina to reach Sher-e-Banglanagar.

Witnesses of the event and senior Awami League leaders and workers recalled that the spontaneous reception which she got could be comparable only with the emotional reception her father had received as he returned home on January 10, 1972 from captivity in Pakistan after Bangladesh's 1971 independence.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with all the family members accompanying him was brutally killed on 15th August in 1975. Fortunately, the two daughters of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehena were in Germany.
Their homecoming was barred by the autocratic government and killer group’s arrogant power practice which led the two sisters to settle for an uncertain exile. On 3rd November 1975, four national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman were murdered inside the Dhaka Central Jail. They were killed as a continuation of Bangabandhu killing with the same purpose by same groups. The killings were made with the motives to destroy the spirit of non-communal democratic constitution, make the country leaderless and to re-establish the Pakistani spirit once again, with taking revenge of liberation war.
The efforts by the killers were motivated not only to make Bangladesh Awami League that led the liberation war leaderless, but also to put the party in disarray. Awami League became aimless without a leadership. The whole nation was waiting for an efficient leadership to oppose against the autocratic government. Right at that time, nation called upon Sheikh Hasina to return in her country. In 1981, Sheikh Hasina was unanimously elected President of the party at her absence. Though she was not prepared for this, but she could not refuse the call from her homeland.
The trial of the Bangabandhu murder required the country to be free from autocracy and reinstate democracy, establish rule of law and human rights in the country. It was also much needed to build the Sonar (Golden) Bangla dreamt by Bangabandhu. And to make all these aspirations a reality, the nation needs to be united, to rejuvenate. But where is that kind of leader? Only Sheikh Hasina filling up the blank of leadership could rejuvenate the nation, make them united, which was the only hope of the nation. She took the challenge, came back in the country leaving behind her family and children. She took the challenges risking her life to free the imprisoned country. Bangladesh had begun a turn back since 17 May, 1981. I
n the last three decades, Sheikh Hasina proved herself that only she was capable enough to face the challenge. She not only became Prime Minister for two times but also became a symbol of national unity. The trial of Bangabandhu killing held with execution of five convicts, the spirit and glory of liberation war, rule of law, democracy and human right were restored. The process to try the war criminals has also started.
The struggle for building a changed, developed and prosperous Bangladesh is going on under the prudent leadership of Sheikh Hasina. Distortion of history has been stooped and Bangabandhu has been glorified on his own greatness. Bangladesh with immense opportunities has looked up high again in the world. And all these achievements made possible by visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh Awami League every year celebrates the homecoming day of Sheikh Hasina with befitting programs. This year, it will be observed with elaborate programs.

২০২১ সালের মধ্যে আত্মনির্ভরশীল বাংলাদেশ প্রতিষ্ঠার প্রতিশ্রুতি দ্রব্যমূল্য হ্রাস ও মহামন্দা রোধ, দুনীতি দমন, জ্বালানি ও বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন বৃদ্ধি, দারিদ্র্য বিমোচন ও সুশাসন প্রতিষ্ঠাকে বিশেষ অগ্রাধিকার দিয়ে আওয়ামী লীগ দিন বদলের সনদ নামে ২৩ দফা নির্বাচনী ইশতেহার প্রকাশ করে৷ ইশতেহারে যুদ্ধাপরাধীদের বিচার এবং জঙ্গিবাদ ও সাম্প্রদায়িক সন্ত্রাস কঠোর হস্তে দমন করার অঙ্গিকার করা হয়েছে৷ ২০২১ সালকে টার্গেট করে আত্মনির্ভরশীল বাংলাদেশ প্রতিষ্ঠায় বিভিন্ন প্রতিশ্রুতি ব্যক্ত করা হয়েছে৷ এ প্রতিশ্রুতিগুলোর মধ্যে রয়েছে ২০১৩ সালে অর্থাৎ ৪ বছরের মধ্যে দেশকে পুনরায় খাদ্যে আত্মনির্ভরশীল করা, আগামী ২০২১ সালের মধ্যে সবার জন্য বিদ্যুৎ নিশ্চিত করা, বেকারত্বের হার ৪০ থেকে ১৫ শতাংশে নামিয়ে আনা, আগামী ৫ বছরে দারিদ্র্যের হার কমিয়ে ৪৫ শতাংশ থেকে ২৫-এ নামিয়ে আনা, ৱাতক পর্যন্ত শিক্ষাকে সবার জন্য অবৈতনিক করা, দুর্নীতি দমন কমিশনকে আরও শক্তিশালী করা এবং দারিদ্র্য বিমোচনে কৃষি ও গ্রামীণ উন্নয়নকে সর্বোচ্চ অগ্রাধিকার দেয়া৷
প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা ভোট ও ভাতের অধিকার দারিদ্র্য বিমোচনের হাতিয়ার-এই শ্লোগানের ভিত্তিতে রচিত এ ইশতেহার ভিশন-২০২১ নতুন প্রজন্মের তরুণ-তরুণী যারা প্রথম ভোটার হয়েছেন তাদেরকে উৎসর্গ করেন৷ 
ইশতেহারে গভীর সংকট থেকে দেশকে উদ্ধার করে ক্ষুধা-দারিদ্র্য-নিরক্ষরমুক্ত বাংলাদেশ গড়ে তুলে উন্নয়ন, গণতন্ত্র, শান্তি ও প্রগতির পথে এগিয়ে নেয়ার প্রতিজ্ঞা ব্যক্ত করা হয়৷ চাল, ডাল, তেলসহ নিত্য প্রয়োজনীয় জিনিসপত্রের দাম কমিয়ে ক্ষমতার মধ্যে নিয়ে আসা, দ্রব্য মূল্য সন্ত্রাসী সিণ্ডিকেট ভেঙে দেয়া, বিশ্ব-মন্দা মোকাবিলায় টাস্ক ফোর্স গঠন এবং তথ্য বিশ্লেষণ কেন্দ্র প্রতিষ্ঠা করা, দুর্নীতিমুক্ত সমাজ গঠনে দুর্নীতির বিরুদ্ধে যুদ্ধ ঘোষণা করার কথা ইশতেহারে বলা হয়েছে৷
জ্বালানি নিরাপত্তা নিশ্চিত করতে অভ্যন্তরীণ ও আঞ্চলিক বহুমুখী পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করার কথা বলা হয়েছে৷ আরও বলা হয়েছে, ২০২১ সালের মধ্যে বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদনের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা হবে ২০ হাজার মেগাওয়াট৷ ৩ বছর মেয়াদি ক্র্যাস প্রোগ্রাম বাস্তবায়ন করে ২০১৩ সালের মধ্যে ৭ হাজার মেগাওয়াট এবং ২০১৫ সালের মধ্যে ৮ হাজার মেগাওয়াটে উন্নীত করা হবে৷ বঙ্গবন্ধু হত্যার বিচারের রায় কার্যকর করাসহ বিচার বিভাগের প্রকৃত স্বাধীনতা, সুশাসন প্রতিষ্ঠায় মানবাধিকার, আইনের শাসন ও নাগরিক মৌলিক অধিকার সুনিশ্চিত করা হবে৷ শিক্ষা, বিজ্ঞান, তথ্য প্রযুক্তি খাতে সর্বোচ্চ ব্যয় বরাদ্দ নিশ্চিত করা, নতুন শিক্ষা নীতি প্রণয়ন করে শিক্ষা-ব্যবস্থা আধুনিক, ২০১৩ সালের মধ্যে সবার জন্য স্বাস্থ্য সেবা এবং ২০১৫ সালের মধ্যে সবার জন্য আবাসন নিশ্চিত করা হবে৷ ঢাকায় আরেকটি আন্তর্জাতিক বিমান বন্দর, পদ্মা সেতু নির্মাণসহ যোগাযোগ ব্যবস্থার উন্নয়নে সড়ক, রেল ও নৌ পথের আধুনিকায়ন করার প্রতিশ্রুতি রয়েছে৷ ধর্মীয় সংখ্যালঘু ও ক্ষুদ্র জাতি সত্তা ও আদিবাসী জনগোষ্ঠীর অধিকার সংরক্ষণ ও তাদের প্রতি বৈষম্যমূলক আইন বাতিল করা হবে৷ সার্ক, বিমসটেকসহ আঞ্চলিক সহযোগিতা জোরদার এবং ইসলামিক উম্মাহর সংহতি ও ইসলামি দেশগুলোর সঙ্গে সহযোগিতা উন্নততর করা হবে৷ সমমর্যাদার ভিত্তিতে জাতীয় স্বার্থ অক্ষুণ্ণ রেখে সকল রাষ্ট্রের সঙ্গে বন্ধুত্ব, কারো সাথে বৈরিতা নয়’-এই নীতির ভিত্তিতে পররাষ্ট্রনীতি গ্রহণ করা হবে৷
সমগ্র জাতির সম্মিলিত প্রচেষ্টায় এই ইশতেহার বাস্তবায়ন করে নতুন প্রজন্মকে সুন্দর ও সফল ভবিষ্যৎ উপহার দেয়ার অঙ্গীকার করেন শেখ হাসিনা