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‘Indemnity Ordinance a shameful move’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 13 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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‘Indemnity Ordinance a shameful move’
Planning Minister MA Mannan speaks at a discussion titled ‘Hateful Indemnity Act’ at Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Friday, marking the 25th anniversary of repealing the ordinance. Jatiya Press Club President Farida Yasmin presided over the event. —SUN photo

Planning Minister MA Mannan on Friday said passing ‘Indemnity Ordinance’ by the parliament was a shameful incident in country’s history.

“Passing hateful Indemnity Ordinance is a shameful act. We have come out of the stigma partially through ensuring trial for the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman.  But, we will have to bear the shame of passing Indemnity Ordinance throughout our life,” he said.

The minister made the remark while addressing a discussion titled ‘Hateful Indemnity Act’ at Jatiya Press Club in the capital, marking the 25th anniversary of repealing the ordinance.

After the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, self-proclaimed President Khandaker Mushtaque Ahmed issued an ordinance to protect the killers and later military ruler Ziaur Rahman turned it into a law.    

When Awami League came to power in 1996, the party scrapped the ordinance on November 12 in the same year to pave the way for justice for the killing of Bangabandhu.  

The planning minister said military rulers declared Islam as the state religion and destroyed secularism, the very foundation of our independence, to change the character of the country.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is bravely marching forward by skipping all the obstacles,” said MA Mannan, adding that all should present the real facts of history to new generation so that they can know everything.

In his speech, former justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik said though Khandaker Mushtaque was in the forefront, the whole killing mission was synchronised by Ziaur Rahman.

“That is the reason why he made the ordinance a law to protect the killers and offered them lucrative jobs abroad. It took 21 years to begin the trial, but when BNP came to the power, the process was stopped as nine justice refused to hear the case,” he said.

Shamsuddin Choudhury urged the government to bring five convicted fugitives to the country and make sure their punishment.

Referring to the history, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique said that no other country ever passed a law like Indemnity Ordinance to protect the killers of their Father of the Nation.

“It is very important to indentify the people involved in the killing as citizens have every right to know who assassinated Bangabandhu,” he said.

Senior journalist Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul said Bangladesh was sent into exile through the killing of Bangabandhu.

“A powerful and independent investigation commission should be formed to dig deep into the conspiracy and motive of Bangabandhu killing and unearth the truth of history for the sake of the new generation,” he said.

While addressing the programme as the chair, Jatiya Press Club President Farida Yasmin said through the trial of Bangabandhu killing, Bangladesh came out of the culture of impunity.     

Claiming that the conspirators are still active to destabilise the country, she said, “We all will have to remain aware so that no conspiracy can be materialised and push Bangladesh backwards.”