Dhaka, April 9 (IANS) The mercy petition of a man who has been sentenced to death for the killing of Bangladesh’s founding President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has been rejected by incumbent President President Md Abdul Hamid, a media report said.
Hamid rejected Abdul Mazed’s plea after it reached the President’s residence on Wednesday night, hours after the convict filed the petition, a source confirmed to bdnews24.
The jail authorities earlier said they sent the former army captain’s petition for clemency to the Home Ministry.
Earlier in the day, a Dhaka court issued a death warrant against Mazed, paving the way for his execution.
He was arrested in Mirpur on Tuesday, four and a half decades after the murder.
The death sentence could be executed any day between April 21 and 28, according to Mosharraf Hossain Kazol, one of the lawyers for the state in the founding President’s murder case.
Mazed was convicted and sentenced to death in 2009.
Five of the 12 military personnel sentenced to death for the 1975 murder were executed on January 27, 2010, a year after his daughter, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, came to the power for her second term.
One of the accused had died in Zimbabwe in 2001 while six others were convicted in absentia and declared fugitives.
The execution of five killers – including the alleged chief conspirator Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruque Rahman – took place nearly 35 years after the crime against Mujib, who was assassinated along with several members of his family during an Army coup on August 15, 1975.
Mujib is widely regarded as the “father of the nation” for leading Bangladesh through its independent struggle from Pakistan.
At midnight on March 26, 1971, Mujibur issued a unilateral declaration of independence in a radio message, after years of political activism against alleged linguistic and regional discrimination of East Pakistan – as the region was known at the time – by governments based in Islamabad and rising atrocities by the military.
Following the declaration, a war broke out between pro-independence groups in East Pakistan, and the military of West Pakistan, which ended with the independence of Bangladesh.