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Sheikh Mujib’s brutal assassin hid in Bengal for 20 years as a teacher, wife had ‘no idea’

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Abdul Majed alias Ahmed Ali was hanged for the 1975 assassination of Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman | Image: ThePrint Team
Abdul Majed alias Ahmed Ali was hanged for the 1975 assassination of Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman | Image: ThePrint Team


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Kolkata: On 8 April, the world came crashing down on 40-year-old Zareena. Her 73-year-old husband Ahmed Ali was arrested in Bangladesh’s Mirpur the previous day by the country’s police, and he actually turned out to be Capt. Abdul Majed, a former Bangladesh army man and one of the assassins of the country’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was executed on a long-standing death sentence on 12 April.

For more than two decades, Majed/Ali had lived in Kolkata and different districts of West Bengal as a humble, pious teacher, complete with a passport and Aadhaar card confirming his assumed identity.

Even Zareena, who had been married to him for nearly a decade, only found out that he was a most-wanted assassin through the local papers after his arrest. She had filed a ‘missing person’ complaint with the local police on 22 February, a day after he disappeared from their home in Kolkata, but once the truth was revealed to her, Zareena went into shock.

Now, she barely speaks and loses consciousness frequently, her relatives told ThePrint.


Also read: Bangladesh executes Mujib’s killer Abdul Majed and what it says about the region’s history


Silent man, would get angry when asked about past

Zareena told ThePrint that she was 31 years old when she was married to Ahmed Ali, then 64. Zareena, an illiterate woman from an impoverished family living in a village in Uluberia, around 55 km from Kolkata, was a widow with a young daughter at the time.

A neighbour brought the proposal to the family, and Zareena was married off without much probing into Ali’s past or family background.

“He always was an introverted man and never spoke much. I tried to ask him about his village and other family members many times, but he used to get angry,” she said.

“My parents married me off as the proposal came from a neighbour. We were told that he was a pious person and a teacher. I had always seen him reading namaz five times and living the life of a pious Muslim. He used to remain silent,” she said.

Nazimuddin Mallick, Zareena’s brother, said she is now suffering from a critical nerve disease. “She has been living a tragic and pathetic life. We are poor and marrying off the daughter is the family’s responsibility,” Mallick said.

“Her first husband died of a disease, leaving her alone with a child. In a couple of years, this second rishta came. We tried to find out his details, but we were told he was a teacher and earned well to keep our sister and her child happy. We only came to know about his identity on 8 April through the newspapers,” he said.

According to Mallick, after their nikaah, Zareena used to stay with Ali at his quarter at Bedford Street. He never spoke much with any of her relatives.


Also read: How Mujib killer’s hanging secures Hasina’s position in Bangladesh, ending 45-yr-old saga


Assassin’s alibi 

Sources in central security agencies told ThePrint that Majed had apparently fled Bangladesh in 1996. He later got two passports — one made in 2007, and another in 2017. Both passports and his Aadhaar card were made in his assumed name, Ahmed Ali.

The first passport now appears to be a fake document, according to sources. The residential address mentioned in it is Alimuddin Street in central Kolkata. The second passport, which the agency sources say is an original, was issued on 24 May 2017, with the residential address at Bedford Street in south Kolkata. Both passports state that his wife’s name is Saleha Begum, and his birth year 1947, according to Mallick.

Disappearance and resurfacing in Dhaka

On 21 February, Majed alias Ali left his home at Bedford Street, saying he was going to buy medicines. He never returned, and his phone remained switched off.

Zareena lodged a missing person complaint the next day with the Park Street police station. Police sources said CCTV footage revealed that four men followed Majed/Ali to the bus stop, and boarded the bus with him.

There was no trace of him between then and 7 April, when the Bangladesh authorities announced his arrest in Mirpur, near Dhaka.

When he was produced before a magistrate’s court, he said he had come to Bangladesh on 15 March by air. But no stamp was found on his passport, sources said.


Also read: Bangladesh is rising while Pakistan is sinking — praise from Modi on Mujibur birth centenary


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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