Sheikh Hasina Wajid, PM of Bangladesh, is the only surviving offspring of late Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman, Founder of Bangladesh.
I do not know any other prominent woman keeping Sheikh in her name or title.
WIKIPEDIA: Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Sheikh Hasina Wazed is the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in office since January 2009. Hasina's political career has spanned more than four decades. Wikipedia
Born: September 28, 1947 (age 70), Tungipara Upazila, Bangladesh
Spouse: M. A. Wazed Miah (m. 1967–2009)
Education: University of Dhaka (1973), Eden Mohila College
Awards: Glamour Award The Chosen Ones, Indira Gandhi Prize
Parents: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib
Nationality: Pakistani, Bangladeshi
Bangladesh army officers blame the Prime Minister for the mutiny by the UK-based Daily Telegraph reporters, Urmee Khan and Dean Nelson
Bangladesh army officers blame the Prime Minister for the mutiny. Angry Bangladeshi army officers shouted down Sheikh Hasina, the country's prime minister, at a private meeting, and blamed her for the murder of more than 70 of their comrades by mutineering border security guards. Sheikh Hasina was praised when she persuaded the Bangladesh Rifles to lay down their arms then criticized when the scale of the massacre emerged. The ferocity of the army's anger was revealed yesterday when ministers lifted a ban on secret recordings of the clash on YouTube. Ministers had initially banned the recordings amid fears they might further destabilize the country following the February 25th mutiny.
The revolt began when security guards forced their way into a meeting of all the regiment's senior officers at their headquarters in Dhaka and opened fire with automatic rifles. The bodies of more than 70 officers were later discovered in a number of mass graves and sewage tanks.
Sheikh Hasina had refused to send in the army to put down the revolt in its early stages and instead invited the leaders to present their demands. At the meeting, she offered the mutineers a general amnesty and an inquiry into their grievances.
Senior officers, who lost friends and family members in the massacre, said they believed the delay costs dozens of lives.
"You are responsible for all the deaths because you did not allow the army to intervene and we want explanation from you," demanded one officer. "Had we been allowed to intervene there would not have been so many bloody baths. We could have rescued a lot of officers from the camp." Another said: "You didn't call the army and that's why so many officers were killed." Several officers repeatedly demanded to know why she had not visited the scene of the carnage. "Why didn't you go and see? Why did you send the interior minister?" they asked.
Charges have been filed against more than 1000 BDR guards and 36 have been arrested on suspicion of leading the mutiny. Ministers said the mutiny was part of a plot to destablilise Sheikh Hasina's recently-elected government.
Zia Ahmed, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, said the government had lifted the ban on the secret tapes because tensions immediately following the mutiny had now eased.
Twists in Politics of Peelkhana Investigations by Sadeq Khan (The Weekly Holiday, 20 March 2009)
The attempt to contain the BDR mutiny in February by "political" manoeuvres of the Prime Minister's emissaries led to belated discovery of the scale and savagery of Peelkhana massacre. The Director General with his family and all sector commanders of our border guards assembled in festive spirit for the BDR week were brutally killed.
The culprits were allowed ample time by white-flagging cool-down signalmen to hide the mutilated corpses of unsuspecting victims in camouflaged mass graves. The perceived indulgence of the mutineers by a declaration of general amnesty sparked spread of the mutiny to some outposts. Further time-lapse in ritual show of arms surrender gave cover for a behind-the-scene orgy of rape and pillage in the officers' quarters of Pilkhana.
Finally it was found that the mutineers managed to smuggle out much of the arms and ammunition, and a black-out of electric supply in the area towards the last leg of so-called arms surrender helped most of the mutineers to escape scaling walls and rear gates that had remained only under casual surveillance.
Army steps in:
Government leaders cheekily claimed saving civilian lives by avoiding encounter with mutineers. Security analysts dispute that, and bemoan the loss of valuable lives of outstanding military officers as the government held back commandos from storming Pilkhana. There was hardly any defensive preparation at the BDR Headquarters apart from aimless gunfire to keep the sagging morale of mutineers afloat for the clamor of general amnesty.
Indeed the U.S. F.B.I team, invited by the government in aid of the Task Force Intelligence (TFI) of the administration investigating the BDR mutiny, has reportedly opined that the incident was not in the nature of a mutiny at all, but a planned massacre in the guise of mutinous slogans to confuse the body of BDR men assembled without arms.
The army has thereafter obtained permission to carry out 'operation rebel hunt' throughout the country, side by side with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) of the police to track down the fugitive killers and recover looted arms and ammunition. A military investigation is going on side by side with the Criminal Investigation Department's interrogation, examination and compilation of depositions and forensic evidences, including electronic communication records. The government has also formed a public enquiry committee under a retired civil servant with representatives from the civil and military administrations to look into all aspects of the Peelkhana tragedy including genuine complaints of BDR personnel used as pretext by the killers.
Faruk Khan Committee:
On March 9, the cabinet division of the government issued a gazette notification that a high level committee has been formed to co-ordinate actions taken and to be taken by the Prime Minister's Office, the Home Ministry and the Defence Ministry in the situation arising from and after the barbarous massacre perpetrated by some undisciplined BDR jawans at the Peelkhana Headquarters of BDR last February 25. Commerce Minister Lt. Col. (retd.) Faruk Khan has been designated Chairman of the committee. The other members of the four-member committee are the (new) Director General of the BDR, and appropriate representatives from the Armed Forces Division and the Police Department. The Committee will keep the Head of Government regularly informed about all relevant matters.
As such, presumably taking to the Prime Minister a regular brief on the progress of ongoing investigations, the Commerce Minister began at the same time to share his updated information on the latest findings of the Task Force Intelligence with the press and the public. But his news leaks simply compounded confusion, as those were contradicted or dismissed without comment by cautions investigators themselves, as well as by the ruling party spokesman, LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam, so as not to pervert or appear to influence the course of investigation.
On March 12, the Commerce Minister made a faux pas saying there were indications of JMB Islamic militant connections behind the Peelkhana carnage. TFI officials discounted any such connection on available evidence. Other experts pointed out that organizing an armed mutiny and planned massacre did not fit with either the pattern or the purpose of JMB operatives, whose busted capacity has been low-tech and limited to bomb-throwing and detonation.
On 14 March, the Commerce Minister revised his remarks somewhat by saying that apart from Islamic militants, others outside forces and elements were involved. He said there were indications that "those who wanted to destabilize Bangladesh and designate Bangladesh as a failed state" were behind the attack. But again TFI sources were quoted by newspapers saying they have no information or evidence of connection of BDR mutiny with banned Islamic outfit Jamiatul Mujahidean Bangladesh or any outfit with foreign links like the Taliban in Afghanistan; the only outside detainee being questioned was a local Awami League leader Torab Ali.
One consequence of the Commerce Minister's repeated hints about intelligence finding of JMB connections in the Peelkhana massacre has been, according to a Blitz Exclusive, a complaint by one Susan Ramgopalan demanding that the United Nations send back members of Bangladesh Armed Forces and police from the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces [UNPKF]. Susan Ramgopalan sent letters to the Secretary General and other officials of United Nations on March 15, 2009 titled 'Islamist inside UN Peace Keeping Force', which stated: "It has come to my attention that one of the front ranking leaders in Bangladesh's ruling party, Awami League, member of the Cabinet and Member of Parliament, Lt. Col. Faruk Khan recently told reporters that Islamist militants like Jamiatul Mujahidin (JMB) has penetrated into country's border security forces.
"It is noteworthy that officers of border security forces are deputed from country's armed forces. Under such authoritative statement from a senior member of the Bangladesh government, it is greatly assumed that there are unknown number of Islamist militants even within the other disciplined forces, including army and police.
"United Nations had been welcoming members of Bangladesh Armed Forces and Police for quite some time. But, after the latest statement from the government side, the question of security of continuing services of such elements with militancy ties would not only jeopardize the safety and security of the countries of their activities, but it may even give the militancy linked members of Bangladesh Armed Forces and Police in staging various forms of sabotaging activities in the foreign countries.
"Under such situation, further recruitment of Bangladeshi forces both from army and police should be stopped while an immediate scrutiny should begin to identify the militancy linked members of Bangladesh Armed Forces and Police inside United Nations Peace Keeping Forces and be immediately expelled from such sensitive task."
On March 16, the Commerce Minister repeated his assertions about outside connections behind the Peelkhana massacre in addition to Islamic militants fuelling the mutiny.
The smokescreen thus being created had the unexpected effect of rousing the curiosity of investigative journalists of the intelligence world. Sunita Paul, a Kochin journalist and contributor to the Intelligence Reporteur and the Countercurrents, filed the following piece with the American Chronicle, datelined March 19, entitled "Leaving crocodile tears for the killers of Bangladesh", which I quote abridged:
"Human Rights Watch (HRW), a New York City based non-governmental organization, which sent a letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina Wajed only few weeks back with the plea of dismantling Forces Intelligences of Bangladesh Armed Forces, has issued a fresh statement on the February Massacre, which took place inside Bangladesh Rifles (border security guards) headquarters in Dhaka, killing large number of Army officers.
'The human rights situation in Bangladesh is poor. There is widespread torture and security agencies get away with murders, tortures and intimidations ... there is a culture of impunity that must be ended,' Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told a news conference (on March 19, 2009).
US lobbyists hired:
'The mystery of the sudden enthusiasm of Human Rights Watch is explained by the following facts. Prior to sending their representative to Bangladesh only a couple of days back, this group had series of meetings with a number of important players in the ruling party in United States, including the son of the present Prime Minister. It was reported that Sajib Wajed Joy, who lives in United States for years, proclaims to be the advisor to his mother, Prime Minister Hasina Wajed.
'Sajib had been extremely vocal against Bangladesh Armed Forces and he was interviewed or quoted in a number of influential media in the world. Joy has close ties with several think-tanks in United States and reportedly hired one of such think-tank cum lobbyist group in continuing massive propaganda and persuasion against DGFI (Directorate General of Forces Intelligence), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Bangladesh Army and army's involvement in politics. Since the February Massacre in Dhaka in February, 2009, Sajib Wajed Joy repeatedly said that, the murders and mutiny inside the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters took place due to corruption of BDR officers (army officers on deputation).
"As part of Joy's anti-army propaganda, a number of international groups were hired to intervene into the February Massacre issue. HRW?s latest statement might have certain links to such efforts of Joy.
Questions fed to FBI:
Paul further said: "Earlier on the day, Bangladesh government announced that it will hold court martial for paramilitary border guards involved in the mutiny. The revolt, which lasted 33 hours and ended after the rebels laid down their arms, stoked concerns over the stability of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's two-month-old civilian government.
Bangladeshi government has asked a team of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) working in its capital Dhaka to help uncover any foreign links to last month's border guards' mutiny. Experts opining on this specific request from the Bangladeshi authorities said does the government want FBI to investigate foreign links or discover foreign link? It is even learnt from valid sources that, Bangladeshi authorities have requested FBI and other foreign investigators in identifying possible militant link to this sordid Massacre.
"Meanwhile, two of the most controversial figures, whose names came at the front right after the mutiny, Jahangir Kabir Nanak (present a state minister for local government ministry) and Mirza Azam (ruling party's whip in the parliament), have suddenly disappeared from the media. It is even reported that, both were ready to flee the country, once the investigation reports were already done.
Politicos under spotlight:
"Investigators so far have identified more than 15 Awami League and 8 BNP men held responsible for patronizing or instigating or funding the mutiny. Another city leader of the ruling party named Torab Ali Akhand (who earlier served in BDR) is already being grilled by investigation agencies after arrest. Akhand already mentioned names of a few influential Awami League leaders, including a close relative of the Prime Minister as his patron in the bloody mutiny. He also told interrogators that a few dozens of arms and thousands of round of ammunitions as well as 'some' Arges grenades were taken from him by some leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (Student?s front of the ruling party) and Jubo League (youth front of the ruling party). Torab was the custodian of looted arms, ammunitions and explosives from BDR headquarters after the mutiny.
What happened in Dhaka during February 25-26 is unimaginable and intolerable. But, what is happening now is even worst. An elected government in Dhaka is rather active in salvaging the killers and their patrons instead of ensuring proper investigation and trial."
It is difficult to assess whether Ms. Paul's mention of "15 Awami League and 8 BNP men" identified by TFI for "patronising or instigating or funding the mutiny" is guesswork (spin?) or obtained from a dependable source.
Paul's other reports:
Earlier on February 6, Sunita Paul said in a report: Many of the heavyweights in the ruling party, like general secretary of Awami League Abdul Jalil, former minister and top bureaucrat Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, former minister and Sheikh Hasina's cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim etc are at the forefront of raising specific allegations of brutal treatment by the members of DGFI [Directorate General of Forces Intelligence] in Bangladesh when they were arrested on corruption charges after 1/11. Leader of BNP, Barrister Moudud Ahmed along with many others are also echoing the same complaint.
In another report on March 21, she quoted the blog of (Lt. Col (retd.) Farook Khan, which read: "Colonel (retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan is the next generation leader of Bangladesh. The leader of the next generation of Bangladesh Muhammad Faruk Khan is a Bangladeshi politician and current Commerce Minister of Bangladesh Government. Khan is a Parliament Member and the current Commerce & Industry Secretary of Awami League. Faruk Khan, a name of excellent personality of Bangladesh, he is the probable future President of Bangladesh Awami League."
Meanwhile disturbed by calls from the opposition party BNP for his replacement as co-ordinator of investigations on account of prejudicial statements, Commerce Minister Lt. Col. (retd) Faruk Khan decided that offence would be his best defence. On March 21, he implicated Begum Khaleda Zia, the Leader of the Opposition with the Peelkhana massacre by saying that Begum Zia had sought to push the country into a civil war by the BDR mutiny. He said: "The government had information that at 10 a.m. on the day of the mutiny, when gunfire started,
Begum Zia had left her residence in a car with dark windows closed, and for the next three days the public in Bangladesh did not see her in the parliament or elsewhere. Begum Zia would have to explain where she was hiding all that while."
In a press briefing earlier, Begum Khaleda Zia had already responded, to a remark of the same tenor by the Prime Minister, that she was regularly attending her party office all through the period of the government's negotiations with the mutineers. Political management of the investigations is turning very bizarre indeed.
Bangladesh: Manipulation of BDR Massacre Probe by Sunita Paul
According to Sunita Paul, the new generation is still asking the following questions:
Barrister Abdur Razzak, a leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami received written notice from Investigation Officer with Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Abdul Kahar Akhand asking Razzak to appear before the investigation officer for interrogation in connection to Bangladesh Riffles (BDR) massacre case.
It may be mentioned here that, Kahar Akhand is known in Bangladesh as he was the investigation officer of Bangabandhu murder case and Jail killing case. He was warned by the highest judiciary in the country for his lack of experience in investigating the cases.
Kahar, basically a loyalist of the ruling party was brought back to service on contract basis from retirement. He has ´high reputation´ of twisting various investigations to meet the taste of the ruling party. He is one of the very few officers in Bangladesh Police, who has direct access via cell phone to both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. For such ´high connection´, Kahar shows damn-care attitude towards his senior officers while continues to misbehave with all the junior officers in the police department as well in CID.
The present rulers in Dhaka especially assigned their own man like Kahar Akhand as the chief investigator of the BDR massacre case, as they knew, this officer will do everything in finally setting out all the names of Awami League men behind this notorious crime, thus putting several opposition leaders and figures as the accused. Since his appointment as the chief investigator of the case, Kahar Akhand is in constant contact with the Home Minister and several influential leaders in the ruling party.
Top level in the government has reportedly given repeated instructions to Kahar Akhand in entangling some leaders from Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Jamaat and some Islamist forces like Hizb Ut Tahrir etc. He also has been suggested to ´discover´ militant connection to this sensitive case.
When Awami League leader Torab Ali Akhand was arrested in connection to this case and was interrogated by several intelligence agencies, including CID, it was crystal clear to the investigators that the ruling party and some opposition leaders played dirty role in giving instigation and patronization to the bloody massacre. Such message was secretly communicated to the high-ups in the government. Hearing such information from Abdul Kahar Akhand, high-command in the ruling Grand Alliance has strongly instructed him to ´do something in turning the matter to another direction or face severe consequence´.
CID officer Abdul Kahar Akhand already knows the case of Muhidul Islam Muhit, who is the plaintiff of Bangabandhu murder case. Muhit was the Assistant Personal Secretary to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and was on duly at the residence of the founding father of Bangladesh during the black night of brutal assassination of him and other members of Bangabandhu´s family.
Muhit was found in a poor economic condition in Jessore after Awami League formed government in 1996. He was picked up by the government and was encouraged to lodge the case. Abdul Kahar Akhand was introduced to Muhit from the very first hour, for preparing the First Information Report (FIR) as well as statement for the investigation into this case.
Muhit received more than 3 residential plots and substantial amount of money from Awami League for agreeing to become the plaintiff of the case. This case changed the life of this poor man, who ultimately sold out all the plots, which were secretly allocated in his name to the owners of Akij Group of Companies in Bangladesh.
Abdul Kahar Akhand knows that, if he will be able to serve the purpose of the ruling party, his next few years in the contract-based job in police service will be extremely bright. He will be compensated in diversified ways. But, if he will ignore instructions from the high-command of the ruling party, he not only will lose the job, but his life will also be in extreme danger.
With such tendency in mind, Akhand has successfully saved Torab Ali from making confessional statement to the Metropolitan Magistrate under section 164. It is even claimed that, Torab Ali, instead of being interrogated, is enjoying comfortable time inside the CID headquarters in Dhaka. At the instruction of influential figures in the government, Abdul Kahar Akhand in ensuring all possible comfort to this confirmed collaborator of the BDR massacre.
And, according to latest news, the ´Walkie-Talkie´ minister in the present government in Dhaka, Lt. Col. (Retired) Faruk Khan told reporters that the probe report shall be made public "within a week". This is the fifth extension of the time limit set for the report.
According to various scoops, the investigators have so far identified a number of points and questions in identifying culprits behind the massacre. These points or questions are:
1. What was the intelligence report sent to the Prime Minister on February 25 in the early morning as acknowledged by the PM in the Parliament,
2. What was the last conversation between Major General Shakil Ahmed and the Prime Minister on February 25,
3. Why the PM regretted her attendance to the dinner on February 26,
4. Who instructed announcement from the nearby mosques on February 25 and 26 asking local residents near BDR headquarters to move to a safe distance,
5. Why Lt. Col. Mukit sent fax messages from the BDR headquarters on February 25 evening against army and the BDR´s director general,
6. Why members of police and RAB were not deployed within gate number 5, through which the mutineers fled,
7. Why the PM assigned Nanak and Azam at 1:00 pm., after 4 hours of she heard about the mutiny,
8. Why names and identities of the delegation of mutineers, who met the PM were not registered at the entrance of the PM´s residence,
9. Mutiny leader DAD Towhid told the PM about the murder of director general of BDR and some other officers when he met her with his team. But, why this matter was kept secret by the government till February 26 evening,
10. Why Bangladesh TV was not showing anything about the mutiny or even news scroll, although the issue was being covered by all private channels,
11. Why the mutineers were terming the PM as "amader netri" (our leader),
12. Why some mutineers were chanting Awami League´s party slogan ´Joy Bangla´ while they were talking to the press,
13. There had been several overseas incoming calls inside the BDR headquarters during the massacre. Investigators are trying to find the callers,
14. Why Prime Minister´s son Sajib Wajed Joy came to Dubai on February 27 to meet some of the fleeing mutineers,
15. Why Joy handed over thick envelops to each of the fleeing mutineers at the Dubai airport,
16. Why Joy made critical remarks on Bangladesh Army and made army liable for the mutiny during interview with various international media,
17. Why Sajib Wajed Joy has been instructed by her mother not to come to Bangladesh before the investigation issue is over,
18. Why influential members of the government phoned certain foreign government asking help in case Bangladesh Army revolts against the ruling party,
19. Why Awami League leader Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir tried to flee the country on February 27,
20. Why minister Faruk Khan said, militants have penetrated in law enforcing and disciplined forces in Bangladesh,
21. Why the government is trying to keep the Inspector General of Police, whose son-in-law was murdered during the mutiny and daughter held hostage, is kept aloof from the investigation process,
22. Why the newly appointed commissioner of police warned the English medium and missionary schools and educational institutions of possible militant attack without any reason,
23. Why the PM did not allow the army to storm in to the BDR headquarters to rescue the officers and their family members,
24. What the CID team were removing from the BDR headquarters in the name of collecting ´evidence´,
25. What type of evidences were removed by the members of police when they were assigned to guard the BDR headquarters almost for more than 30 hours,
26. Why the Home Minister and other members of the ruling Alliance were visiting the BDR headquarters during dark hours of February 26, much after the surrender,
27. Why Awami League student wing leader Liakat Sikder is hiding since the massacre,
28. Why Awami League and its activists are continuing to demand trial of killers and their collaborators in civil courts instead of Court Martial,
29. Why a section of pro-Awami League journalists are continuing indirect campaign against army as well demanding trial in civil court,
30. Why the ruling party is echoing the voice of Indian media and especially the editorial commentary in The Statesman.
Reply to all these questions will surely help investigators in finding the truth and identifying the culprits. But, it is a big question as to whether the ruling party is willing to let a neutral investigation continue, which may go ultimately against many of the heavy-weights within their home.
Bangladeshi people are getting united with the demand of proper investigation and exemplary punishment to the perpetrators and collaborators of this extreme heinous crime. Anger within the armed forces is boiling like eruptive volcano. Members of the armed forces and those bereaved families can never forgive the killers and the collaborators.
People in power in Dhaka should understand this clearly!
Leaving Crocodile Tear for the Killers in Bangladesh by Sunita Paul
Human Rights Watch (HRW), a New York City based non-governmental organization, which sent a letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina Wajed only few weeks back with the plea of dismantling Forces Intelligences of Bangladesh Armed Forces, has issued a fresh statement on the February Massacre, which took place inside Bangladesh Riffles (border security guards) headquarters in Dhaka, killing large number of Army officers, thus leaving numerous wounded and abused.
According to international news media, United States based Human Rights Watch urged Bangladesh's new democratically elected government on March 19, 2009 to end human rights abuses, saying there was widespread torture and intimidation in the country.
"The human rights situation in Bangladesh is poor. There is widespread torture and security agencies get away with murders, tortures and intimidations ... there is a culture of impunity that must be ended," Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told a news conference.