Dhaka, August 17 (Dhaka Tribune): Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed says that she got to know that her mother and other family members were killed along with her father and the founder President of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 20 days after the massacre in their house in Dhaka on August 15, 1975.
“We were in compete darkness about the gravity of the massacre on August 15. All we knew was that there had been a military coup. We were told about the massacre and the death of my parents by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when we called on her in New Delhi on September 4. It was Indira Gandhi who told us that none of my parents was alive,” Hasina said while addressing a meeting to mark the 41st anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s martyrdom, organized by Bangladesh Awami League at Krishibid Institution.
“From television news we came to know about the death of Bangabandhu. But no information was available about the fate of others. We had no clear picture of what actually happened in Dhaka,” she recalled.
Hasina, the eldest daughter of Mujib, and her younger sister, Sheikh Rehana, survived as they had left the country for Germany 15 days earlier.
“My last conversation with my parents over phone was on August 13 from the Netherlands. I shared with Sheikh Mujib the land reclamation process in that country,” she said.
The then Bangladesh Ambassador in Belgium, with whom Hasina was staying, refused to help.
“We became a burden on him, though he was appointed by Bangabandhu,” she said.
“When we a said we want to return to Germany, the Ambassador denied us transport. It was with the help of the First Secretary in the embassy and the Bangladesh ambassador in Germany, Humayun Rashid Chowdhury, that we came back to Germany,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She recalled that the then Yugoslav President, Marshal Tito, had enquired about them and offered to give them shelter. Germany also wanted to give them shelter while India Gandhi sent them several message asking her to come to New Delhi.
After arriving in New Delhi on August 24, we wanted to get back to Bangladesh. She tried to find out from international agencies about the extent of the damage. She was hoping that her mother was alive.
But she and her sister could not return to Bangladesh because the new government had barred their entry.
“We had to take political asylum in India”, Sheikh Hasina said.