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'Pakistani rulers made several attempts to kill Bangabandhu in prison'

New Delhi/Dhaka, Jan 8 (IANS) Ahead of the 50th anniversary of Bangabandhu's jail-free day, his grandson Sajeeb Wazed Joy lashed out at the rulers of Pakistan for attempts to murder Bangabandhu inside the prison during the nation's celebration of its freedom.

"On one hand, there was a heap of lifeless bodies of 3 million martyrs. There was the cry of over 4,00,000 violated mothers and sisters. On the other hand, there dawned the ultimate freedom of the soil of Bangla and seven crore people. When the euphoria of breaking the thousand-year-long chain outshined the pain of losing relatives and dear ones, there was the attempt to murder the founder of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inside a jail of Pakistan," wrote Joy in a Facebook post from his verified account.

"This was not their first evil attempt, though! In the early hours of March 26, Bangabandhu declared independence through wireless. The international media extensively covered the announcement of the freedom of Bangladesh. In the meantime, a special commando was sent to shower bullets on the Dhanmondi-32 residence of Bangabandhu from all possible directions. Then this son of the Bengali nation was imprisoned in parliament areas, Adamji Cantonment School, and different places of the Dhaka Cantonment. Finally, he was sent to the dark prison of West Pakistan on April 1 amid the highest level of secrecy," he added.

"He was sent to a desolate prison at the hottest region Lyallpur via Karachi and Lahore," he said, providing a link to an article on the ruling Awami League's website to offer detailed information on how the 'barbaric regime of Pakistan' conspired to kill Bangabandhu.

They even set a transmitter in Bangabandhu's chair so that the junta could hear every single word uttered by him. But all the mental torture Pakistanis inflicted on Bangabandhu failed to budge him an inch.

Later, in August 1971, they planned to murder him through a secretly conducted trial. The highest punishment for six of the 12 complaints staged against Bangabandhu was the death sentence.

On August 20, General Yahya Khan said to US Ambassador Farland, "I don't know where fate leads Mujib. Though there is an order to hang him, it may not be implemented immediately. A few months can be taken instead." As the media circulated this news, world leaders cautioned the government of Pakistan about the security of Bangabandhu.

Still, the junta of Pakistan refused to call it a day.

In the first week of December, the defeat of Pakistan appeared to be the foregone conclusion. Then a secret court-martial sentenced Bangabandhu to death. They even dug a grave in front of his prison cell at the Miawali jail.

However, the situation on the battlefields of Bengal began to change very quickly on the one hand. On the other hand, the United Nations and powerful states of the world gave the highest warning to Pakistan about the assassination of the elected leader Sheikh Mujib. As the farce execution process came to a halt, the Pakistani junta tried their last attempt to kill Bangabandhu in jail by instigating the other death-row inmates.

In another development, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took over Pakistan from Junta chief General Yahya Khan, following the victory of Bangladesh on December 16. Still, Yahya requested killing Sheikh Mujib in the firing squad, backdating his execution.

But considering the international pressure favouring the release of Bangabandhu and the fate of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers taken prisoner, Bhutto could not gather the courage to carry out Yahya's plan.

Finally, Pakistan was obliged to release Bangabandhu on January 8, 1972. Tears of joy rolled down the cheek of Bangabandhu, the greatest Bengali having ever walked upon the planet, when he set his feet on the soil of independent Bangladesh. Thus, the return of Bangabandhu to his home fulfilled the meaning of the independence of the Bengali nation.

Sentiments of Bangabandhu's grandson Sajeeb Wazed Joy appeared at an opportune moment when Pakistan has again started singing the tune of brining the two countries together playing the 'Muslim Ummah' card. Recent propaganda in the name of 'Pak-Bangladesh Friendship Conference', release of movie 'Khel Khel Mein' on Nov 19, and then a Pakistani drama series 'Jo Bichhar Gaye', premiered on Dec 12 have all proven futile. They shamelessly played with the sentiments of Bangladeshis by again releasing a documentary 'Separation of East Pakistan: The Untold Story', on Dec 16, the Victory Day of Bangladesh. It is time for Pakistan to understand that they stand to face trial for killing innocent Bengalis in 1971, and owe an unconditional apology.