The junior officers’ coup had proceeded exactly as planned - the killers went inside the house, and one by one, killed everyone they could find. There had been no resistance in all three locations from the moment the majors and their army officials had reached the houses.
In total 20 people were killed.
All members of Sheikh Mujib's family were butchered, except for his two daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana who were in West Germany at the time.
It was an act of mercy killing. Mujib was building a dynasty. We had to finish off all of them.
Major Farooq, one of the conspirators
Meanwhile having tamed the Jatiyo Rakkhi Bahini, Major Farook arrived at Sheikh Mujib's house gate, eager to know what had happened at his home.
All are finished.
When the others had gone on their deadly mission. Major Abdur Rashid Khandaker made straight for Squadron Leader Liaquat's house to alert him to stand by with his MiGs. It took a few minutes to get him out of bed and to brief him. Liaquat refused to do anything without orders from the Chief of Air Staff. So leaving him, Rashid dashed off to see Major Hafiz, Brigade Major of the 46 Infantry Brigade (Dhaka Brigade) who was involved in the earlier plotting but backed out at the last moment. Rashid wanted Hafiz to bring out the 1 East Bengal since Major Shahjehan and the 16 East Bengal had failed to come from Joydevpur. He hoped the Brigade Major would not now hesitate to act since the operation had already been launched.
Hafiz, however, refused to call out the infantry. He would not move without instructions from the Brigade Commader or the Chief of Staff. There was some argument and Hafiz tried to get his CO, Colonel Shafaat Jamil, on the telephone. When he failed to get through Rashid got him into his jeep and drove off to Shafaat Jamil's house. They were entering the compound when they heard the first salvoes from the Howitzer coming from the direction of Dhanmondi.
Rashid told the Brigade Commander about the strike. "Sir, we have gone for action to remove Sheikh..." Shafaat Jamil, he recalls, was shocked and very angry. He too could hear the guns booming in the distance. There followed loud exchanges between the two officers, when the telephone rang. It was General Shafiullah calling to say he had received a call from Sheikh Mujib that some soldiers were attacking his house and he wanted the Dhaka Brigade to mobilise immediately to go to his assistance.
I told him (Shafaat Jamil) that it's too late to do something since we have already gone for it. Shafaat Jamil put down the telephone. He was furious but did nothing. Then he told me, 'I must go and see General Ziaur Rahman'. I didn't bother to stop him.
Rashid got into his jeep and rushed to Dhanmondi.
The assassins lost no time in tidying up the evidence of the massacre in Dhanmondi. Sheikh Mujib's family, along with the Serniabats and the Monis were quietly buried in Banani graveyard in the Cantonment.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's dead body was kept in a coffin in his garage guarded by the troops of artillery and armed corps. The following day, 16 August 1975, at around 3pm, Major Mohiuddin and Lt. Sekandar took Sheikh Mujib's dead body to his home town, Tungipara.
Mujib's body alone was flown by Air Force helicopter to Tungipara and buried in the village graveyard. It was there that Bangabandhu's final humiliation took place. According to Brigadier Manzoor, when the news of the coup and assassination became known some villagers broke in and looted Mujib's ancestral home.
Initially his dead body was kept in the local district office (Dak Bungalow) while Major Mohiuddin kept insisting on a hasty funeral. But the local Maulabhi (Imam) did not give in to the pressure from the armed officers and he told them that the dead body of a Muslim cannot be buried without a proper bath. The Major gave him ten minutes time for the bath and later another ten minutes to complete the ritual.
During the wash the Maulabhi noticed that a bullet entered Sheikh Mujib’s body from the left side of his back turning the entrails out. He still had at least 10 bullets lodged inside his body. The main veins of both his legs were cut off and his iconic index finger, the emblem of Bengali independence, was shot off. His face was still intact. Only ten locals attended the funeral.
Mujib's dead body was washed with a cheap 570 detergent bar (manufactured locally and sold through the subsidized state run chain shop (COSCOR) from the corner shop. A piece of sari, distributed under the post war relief program, obtained from a poor villager was used to wrap Mujib's body.
The military left in the chopper as soon as his body was buried. Sixty police officers cordoned off his grave for months.
After the killing of Mujib, Bangalees can no longer be trusted. The Bangalees who can kill Mujib, can perpetrate any heinous deed.
Willy Brandt, West German leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner
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