10 July 2012


Chittagong Circuit House

Large processions follow the funeral of Zia

Mausoleum of Ziaur Rahman inChandrima Uddan in Dhaka. Seen on the walls are posters of his widow, Begum Khaleda Zia.
During his term of power, Zia was criticised for ruthless treatment of his army opposition.[13] Although he enjoyed overall popularity and public confidence, Zia's rehabilitation of some of the most controversial men in Bangladesh aroused fierce opposition from the supporters of the Awami League and veterans of the Mukti Bahini. Amidst speculation and fears of unrest, Zia went on tour to Chittagong on 29 May 1981 to help resolve an intra-party political dispute in the regional BNP. Zia and his entourage stayed overnight at the Chittagong Circuit House. In the early hours of the morning of 30 May, he was assassinated by a group of army officers. Also killed were six of his bodyguards and two aides.[14]


After the assassination of Ziaur Rahman on 30 May 1981, Ershad remained loyal[15] to the government and ordered the army to suppress the coup attempt of Zia's associates led by Major General Abul Manzoor.
Major General Abul Manzoor was shot to death by army soldiers (name were not disclosed till 2010 by government). A military investigation kicked off immediately and 13 army officers were hanged while 19 officiers were ousted from army on 31 October 1981. Officers who were removed from army were Brigadier Abu Said Matiul Hannan Shah, Brigadier AKM Azizul Islam, Brigadier Gias Uddin Ahmed Chodhury (bir bikram), Brigadier Abu jafar aminul huque (bir bikram), Colonel Md. Bajlul goni patwari (bir protik), Lt. Colonel AS Enamul huque, Lt.Colonel Md. Jainul abedin, Lt. Colonel Md. Abdul hannan (bir pratik), Major Manjur ahmed (bir pratik), Major Wakar hassan (bir pratik), Major Md. Abdul jalil, Major Md. Asaduzzaman, Major Rafiqul Islam, Major MD. Abdus salam, Major AKM Rezaul Islam (bir pratik), Captain ASM Abdul hai, Captain Jahirul huque khan (bir pratik), Captain Majharul huque, Lt. Abul hasem.[16]
Zia was buried at the Chandrima Uddan in the locality of Sher-e-Banglanagar in Dhaka.[3] People in large processions attended the funeral and paid their final respects. Vice President Abdus Sattar immediately succeeded him as the acting president.


13 officers mostly 1971 veterans, were arrested in between 1 and 3 June in 1981 and a court martial chaired by Major General Abdur Rahman began at Chittagong Central Jail on 10 July and ended on 28 July. 12 officers were hanged within 18 days of the death of Ziaur Rahman and the 13th officer was hanged two years later as he was being treated for bullet wounds he had received during the 30 May incident in Chittagong.

[edit]Executed officers

Following 13 officers were executed .
1. Brigadier Mohsin Uddin Ahmed, in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War he was 2IC of 3rd East Bengal Regiment (under CO Shafaat Jamil) under Z force (Commanded by Ziaur Rahman).
2. Colonel Nawajesh Uddin, in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War , he fought in Rangpur and worked with M. A. G. Osmani directly
3. Colonel M Abdur Rashid.
4. Lt Colonel l AYM Mahfuzur Rahman, in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War he was commander of Sreenagar Sub-sector under Sector 1 (Commanded by Ziaur Rahman).
5. Lt Colonel Bir Protik M Delwar Hossain,
6. Lt Colonel Shah Md Fazle Hossain.
7. Major AZ Giashuddin Ahmed.
8. Major Rawshan Yazdani Bhuiyan.
9. Major Kazi Mominul Haque.
10. Major M Mojibur Rahman.
11. Captain Mohammad Abdus Sattar.
12.Captain Jamil Haque.
13. Lt Mohammad Rafiqul Hassan Khan, aged 23 when hanged[17]
The army prosecutors, who were appointed to defend these 13 suspected officers llater called the trial a 'farcical trial' as they all were denied the minimal opportunity to defend.

[edit]Removed officers

Following officers were removed from Army.
1. Brigadier Abu Said Matiul Hannan Shah, a top level leader in Bangladesh Nationalist Party
2. Brigadier AKM Azizul Islam,
3. Brigadier Gias Uddin Ahmed Chodhury (bir bikram),
4. Brigadier Abu jafar aminul huque (bir bikram),
5. Colonel Md. Bajlul goni patwari (bir protik),
6. Lt. Colonel AS Enamul huque,
7. Lt.Colonel Md. Jainul abedin,
8. Lt. Colonel Md. Abdul hannan (bir pratik),
9. Major Manjur ahmed (bir pratik),
10. Major Wakar hassan (bir pratik),
11.Major Md. Abdul jalil,
12. Major Rafiqul Islam,
13. Major MD. Abdus salam,
14. Major AKM Rezaul Islam (bir pratik),
15. Major Md. Asaduzzaman,
16. Captain Jahirul huque khan (bir pratik),
17. Captain Majharul huque,
18. Captain ASM Abdul hai,
19. Lt. Abul hasem.

[edit]Criticism and legacy

Ziaur Rahman is considered one of the most important political leaders of Bangladesh.[5] President Zia introduced a multi-party democracy in Bangladesh after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, resorted to de facto one-party rule through BAKSAL in 1975. As president, General Zia legislated the Indemnity Bill, pardoning the subsequently-convicted killers of President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975.[18] Also deeply controversial is Zia's rehabilitation of persons and political groups that had collaborated with the Pakistani army. Zia is also criticised for creating a "magna democracy", which remained largely beholden to his political party. Because other political parties like Awami League has internal tension barring its greater participation in politics.[19] In a verdict passed on 30 August 2005 the Dhaka High Court declared the seizures of power by military coups between 1975 and 1979, including Zia's military regime as "unlawful and unconstitutional."[20] Zia's martial law decrees, his ascendancy to the presidency in 1977 and the referendum held in 1978 were declared "unknown to the constitution." The court ruling overruled the Indemnity Act by which these very events were accorded a legal status and enshrined in the constitution.[20]
Former US President Ronald Reagan praised him for his leadership and said that "The United States – indeed the world – had come to respect President Zia's profound and compassionate commitment to a better life for his people and his dedication to the rule of law. His wisdom in international affairs will be sorely missed".[21]
While credited for ending the disorder of the final years of Sheikh Mujib's rule, Zia is assailed by his critics for suppressing opposition.[5][19] However, Zia's economic reforms are credited with rebuilding the economy and his move towards Islamisation brought him the support of ordinary Bangladesh people.[5][19] His nationalist vision also appealed to many who resented the nation's strategic alliance with India and the Soviet Union. Moving away from Mujib's secularism, Zia asserted an Islamic political identity for Bangladesh and of membership in the wider community of Muslim nations.[citation needed] However, these measures also isolated and embittered many ethnic and religious minorities in Bangladesh[citation needed], laying in the opinion of many historians[who?] the foundations of future communal and ethnic conflicts.[citation needed] It is generally acknowledged that he lived a simple life, which included opting to have his food supplied from the army canteen.[citation needed]
Ziaur Rahman is survived by his wife Begum Khaleda Zia and his sons Tareq Rahman and Arafat Rahman. Begum Khaleda Zia became the head of the BNP and organised a coalition of political parties opposed to Ershad's regime. In elections held in 1991, Begum Khaleda Zia led the BNP to victory and became prime minister. She lost the 1996 elections to the Awami League's Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but returned to power in 2001.[22] Tareq Rahman serves as BNP senior joint secretary, regarded by many as the architect of the BNP's 2001 election victory.[23] Zia is the namesake of many public institutions, formerly the Zia International Airport in Dhaka, which is the busiest airport in the nation. Zia has also been honoured by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation for his statesmanship and vision.[24]


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