'18 of family killed, lived secretly in Delhi': Bangladesh PM recalls how India came to her rescue

'18 of family killed, lived secretly in Delhi': Bangladesh PM recalls how India came to her rescue

Hasina with moist eyes, recounted the year 1975 when she had to leave Bangladesh to join her nuclear scientist husband in Germany.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday revealed that she used to live secretly in Delhi’s posh Pandara Road with her children under an assumed identity to escape those who assassinated her father Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. She also narrated how the Indian government offered her help while the miscreants wanted to eliminate all the members of her family.

Hasina with moist eyes, recounted the year 1975 when she had to leave Bangladesh to join her nuclear scientist husband in Germany. Her family members had come to the airport to see Hasina and her sister off. The farewell turned out to be her last meeting with her parents.

“Because my husband was abroad, so I used to live in the same house (with parents). So that day everybody was there: my father, mother, my three brothers, two newly-wedded sisters-in-law, everybody was there. So all the siblings and their spouses. They came to the airport to see us off. And we met father, mother. That was the last day, you know,” Hasina said recalling the darkest chapters in Bangladesh’s history during an interview with news agency ANI.

Few days later on August 15, Hasina received the news of her father Sheikh Mujibur Rehman being killed. She got to know about the execution of more members of her family.

“It was really unbelievable. Unbelievable, that any Bengali could do it. And still we didn’t know how, what really happened. Only there was a coup, and then we heard that my father was assassinated. But we didn’t know that all the family members were, you know, they were assassinated,” Hasina said.

'18 of family killed, lived secretly in Delhi': Bangladesh PM recalls how India came to her rescue
PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurate Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between India and Bangladesh

She said that India was one of the first countries to extend help to her.

“Mrs Indira Gandhi immediately sent information that she wanted to give us, I mean, security and shelter. So we received, especially from Marshal Tito from Yugoslavia, and Mrs Gandhi. We decided to come back here (Delhi) because we had in our mind that if we go to Delhi, from Delhi we’ll be able to go back to our country. And then we’ll be able to know how many members of family are still alive,” the Bangladesh prime minister said.

Hasina then returned to Delhi and was put under heavy security as those who killed her father also carried out attacks at the houses of other relatives and killed some of her kin.

Almost 18 members and some, mostly my relatives and then some maid servants and their children and then some guests, my uncle,” were among those killed, she said. The conspirators wanted that nobody from Bangabandhu’s family should ever come back to power.

“When we returned to Delhi, it was perhaps August 24, then I met Prime Minister Mrs Gandhi. She called us and we… so there we came to know that nobody is alive. Then she made all the arrangements for us, a job for my husband and this Pandara Road house. We stayed there,” Hasina recounted.

“So first 2-3 years actually it was so difficult to accept this, my children, my son was only 4-years-old. My daughter, she’s younger, both of them used to cry. Come (let’s) go to my mother, my father and they still remembered my younger brother mostly,” she added.

She was forced to hide her identity and live with a different name because of security reasons.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and his family members were killed on August 15, 1975 by senior army officers, which resulted Bangladesh into political chaos and military takeover for many years.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Indians In Gulf
www.indiansingulf.in