CANADA HAS agreed to deport Noor Chowdhury, one of 12 former army officers sentenced to death for the 1975 assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a senior official of Bangladesh disclosed after his recent visit to Ottawa.
"Canadian authorities have seized Noor Chowdhury's passport for residing illegally in the country. They have decided to send him back to Bangladesh," law minister Shafique Ahmed told reporters.
Returning to the country after a 10-day visit to Canada, the law minister also informed journalists that Chowdhury had sought both a residency permit and asylum, but the Canadian government refused his application.
"At present, Noor Chowdhury has to report to the police there once every week," said the law minister.
Dismissed Major Noor Chowdhury and his trigger happy colleague Major Bazlul Huda opened fire from automatic weapons to silence the lion who gave a call of independence in March 1971.
"He is also trying to appeal against the Canadian decision. If the petition is rejected, there will be no barrier to bringing him back."
Answering a question on the whereabouts of Shariful Haque Dalim, another fugitive in the case, Shafique said, "I have learnt that he was in Canada for a while. But he has reportedly left the country."
The minister said that the foreign ministry was trying to bring back all the fugitive convicted killers.
Bangladesh's founding father Sheikh Mujib was killed, along with most of his family members, on Aug 15 1975, just four years after the country gained independence from Pakistan.
On Nov 19 this year, the Supreme Court, in a long-awaited judgement on appeals by five convicted former officers, upheld their death sentences in the murder case.
Bazlul Huda, Syed Faruk Khan, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed had appealed to have their death penalties commuted from behind bars.
Another six convicts also sentenced to death in the case—Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haq Dalim, Noor Chowdhury, Moslemuddin, Rashed Chowdhury and Abdul Majed—are fugitives.
Interpol has issued arrest warrants for their capture.
A twelfth who also received the death penalty, Abdul Aziz Pasha, died as a fugitive in Zimbabwe. #
First published by BDNews24.com on November 30, 2009