The Jail Killing refers to the murder of four Awami League leaders in prison by the planners of army officers who launched the 15 August 1975 Bangladesh coup d'état. The four were former President Syed Nazrul Islam, former prime ministers Tajuddin Ahmed and Muhammad Mansur Ali, and President of Awami League A. H. M Qamaruzzaman.
The military administration had placed around 50 Awami League activists including four senior Awami League leaders in Dhaka Central Jail. The four were former President Syed Nazrul Islam, former prime ministers Tajuddin Ahmed and Muhammad Mansur Ali, and President of Awami League Abul Hasnat Muhammad Qamaruzzaman. On 4 November 1975, jailer Aminur Rahman took the four from their separate rooms and placed them in one room. Aminur told them an important representative of the Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad government would meet them.
Five Army officers led by Moslemuddin were refused entry to the jail by the Deputy inspector general of prisons but were eventually allowed following the orders of President Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad. The army personnel marched into the jail and shot the four leaders in their jail cell killing all except Muhammad Mansur Ali. After hearing the groans and Muhammad Mansur Ali call for water one of the prison guards, Motaleb, went and informed the army team who had returned to the entrance of the jail. The team returned and bayoneted all four Awami League leaders in their jail cells.
A First Information Report was filed with Lalbagh police station about the four murders and its officer in charge ABM Fazlul Karim was tasked to investigate the incident. Deputy Superintendent of Police Saifuddin Ahmed was appointed the investigation officer but he was not allowed to visit the jail cell. From 1975 to 1995, the investigation did not proceed due to lack of interest from different governments. Investigation started after the Awami League was elected to power in 1996; the first Awami League government since 1975. The post mortem reports and police investigation files disappeared. A Judicial Commission was created to investigate the incident but failed to complete their investigation and their files disappeared at the concerned ministry. The Indemnity Ordinance, 1975 provided protection to the army officers involved in the killing. Abdul Kahar Akand of the Criminal Investigation Department was appointed investigator of the case.
On 15 October 1998, charge sheet was presented against 23 accused in the jail killing case.
Metropolitan Sessions Judge Motiur Rahman issued an arrest warrant against Deputy Superintendent of Police Saifuddin Ahmed on 30 September 2004 after failing to appear before the court due to ill health. Bangladesh Nationalist Party member of parliament KM Obaidur Rahman described the trial as harassment. Two accused, Taheruddin Thakur and Shah Moazzem Hossain were out on bail.
The Metropolitan Sessions Court had found 15 of the 20 accused in the case guilty. Marfot Ali Shah, Moslemuddin, and Abdul Hashem Mridha were sentenced to death. Abdul Majed, Ahmed Sharful Hossain, A.K.M. Mohiuddin Ahmed, Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Mohammad Bazlul Huda, Mohammad Kismat Hashem, Nazmul Hossain Ansar, Syed Faruque Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Shariful Haque Dalim, S.H.M.B Noor Chowdhury, and Rashed Chowdhury, were sentenced to life imprisonment. Mohamed Khairuzzaman, KM Obaidur Rahman, Shah Moazzem Hossain, Nurul Islam Manzur and Taheruddin Thakur were found innocent of all charges.
On 29 August 2008, Justice Nozrul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md. Ataur Rahman Khan of the Bangladesh High Court issued a verdict on the appeal of the 2004 judgement. The court upheld the sentence of only Moslemuddin. The court found AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, Abul Hashem Mridha, Bazlul Huda, Marfat Ali Shah, Syed Farook Rahman, and Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, were found innocent of all charges.
In 2010, Attorney General of Bangladesh, Mahbubey Alam, announced plans to appeal the High Court verdict.
In 2013 a full bench of the Bangladesh Supreme Court composed of Chief Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain, Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Justice Md. Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, and Justice Muhammad Imman Ali gave the verdict in the appeal of the jail killing case. The bench upheld the death sentences of Marfat Ali Shah and Abul Hashem Mridha which the Bangladesh High Court bench removed.
Asaduzzaman Khan, the Minister of Home Affairs, stated that the government is trying to enforce the Supreme Court verdict. The Awami League government is trying to bring back Mohamed Khairuzzaman, one of the accused in the jail killing case, from Malaysia in 2022 where he had served as the ambassador of Bangladesh. Rashed Chowdhury is in the United States and Noor Chowdhury is in Canada. Abdul Majed was detained in 2020.
- Borders, William (1975-08-15). "Mu jib Reported Overthrown and Killed In a Coup by the Bangladesh Military". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Army officer hanged for murder of Bangladesh's founding president". BBC News. 2020-04-12. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Khan, Tamanna (12 November 2010). "Justice For An Undisclosed Chapter". The Daily Star. Star Weekend Magazine. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Ahmed, Mahbub Uddin (3 November 2021). "Jail Killing Day: How the horrors of November 3 transpired". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
- Sarkar, Ashutosh (2021-11-03). "Jail Killing Day: Too dark for an autumn morning". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Huda, Muhammad Nurul (2020-11-03). "Jail Killing Day: The indelible shame". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Sarkar, Ashutosh (2020-11-03). "Jail Killing Day: 45 years on, justice still elusive". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Supreme Court publishes full judgment of Jail Killing case". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Jail Killing Case". archive.thedailystar.net. The Daily Star. 30 September 2004. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Balachandran, P.K. (2022-02-17). "Dhaka Moves For Repatriation of Former Envoy Accused Of Killing 2 Ministers, 2 PMs". www.thecitizen.in. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Muslem to die; Farook, Shahriar, Huda, Mohiuddin acquitted". The Daily Star. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Bangladesh seeks retrial of 1975 killings of national leaders". The Times of India. November 7, 2010. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Jail killing case: Trying our best to execute verdict, says home minister". The Daily Star. 2021-11-03. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- Sarkar, Ashutosh (2018-11-03). "Justice for 4 National Leaders: As elusive as ever". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Bangabandhu Killing: Convicted killer held, sent to jail". The Daily Star. 2020-04-08. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Jail Killing Day: Bangladesh remembers 4 national leaders". Dhaka Tribune. 2020-11-02. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Bangladesh observes Jail Killing Day". The Business Standard. 2021-11-03. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Jail Killing Day today". Risingbd Online Bangla News Portal. Retrieved 2022-07-20.
- "Jail Killing Day: PM pays tributes to Bangabandhu, 4 national leaders". The Daily Star. 2019-11-03. Retrieved 2022-07-20.