Justice kept in long wait | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 15, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:15 PM, August 19, 2015

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August 15, 1975 incidents: Justice kept in long wait

Justice is yet to be delivered in the cases filed in connection with the murders of Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni and Abdur Rab Serniabat, and a mortar attack in Mohammadpur on August 15, 1975, the night Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was murdered along with most of his family members.

Disgruntled army personnel killed Bangabandhu's nephew Moni, founding chairman of the Awami Jubo League, and his wife Arzu Moni at their Dhanmondi home. Bangabandhu's brother-in-law Serniabat, former water resources minister, and seven others were murdered at his Minto Road residence.

A mortar attack killed 14 others in Mohammadpur, raising the death toll to 34 on that fateful night.

Three murder cases were filed in 1996 in connection with these incidents.

About the progress in the trial of these cases, Law Minister Anisul Huq said most of the accused in the cases were also accused of Bangabandhu murder; five of them had already been executed and six others were absconding.

The execution was done in January 2009 following a Supreme Court verdict in the Bangabandhu murder case.

“We have to examine the relevant laws [to check] whether further investigations into the cases are needed for their disposals,” the minister said. 

He, however, said his office could do nothing regarding the Sheikh Moni murder case, as the police had already submitted the final report exempting the accused from the charges.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said his office would take steps for vacating the High Court order that had stayed the proceedings of Serniabat murder case.

The HC stayed the case's proceedings in November 1999 following a petition filed by Bazlul Huda, one of the accused executed for Bangabandhu's murder.


The Criminal Investigation Department submitted the final report in the case in August 2002. 

The Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in December the same year accepted the report and acquitted all the accused without even notifying the complainant.

Sheikh Moni's son Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, MP, declined to make any comment on the matter.

The Daily Star could not reach the complainant, Mohammad Shahabuddin, for his statements.


A group of army personnel led by Maj Shahriar Rashid, Maj Aziz Pasha, Capt Majed and Capt Nurul Huda stormed Serniabat's house on Minto Road, gathered the residents at the living room and shot them.

Abdur Rab Serniabat, his nephew Shaheed Serniabat, daughter Baby Serniabat, son Arif Serniabat, grandson Babu Serniabat, who was only four, domestic helps Potka and Laxmir Ma, and Abdur Naim Khan alias Rintu died on the spot.

Nine others were severely injured. Abul Hasnat Abdullah, son of Abdur Rab Serniabat, escaped hiding behind a door.

Hasnat's wife Shahan Ara Begum, among the injured, filed a case with Ramna police accusing 18 people.

The HC stay order on the case's proceedings remains in force till date. The Awami League came back to power in 2009, but has not yet taken any action to vacate the stay order.


Fourteen people were killed by mortar shells fired in Mohammadpur in Dhaka on the night of August 15, 1971.

The CID pressed charges against the same accused as in the Serniabat case in July 1997 for the incident.

The case is now pending with the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court, Dhaka. So far, 15 prosecution witnesses have testified.

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