1975 horror: Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina recalls how she was secretly living in Delhi to escape assassins
New Delhi: Bangladesh PM SHeikh Hasina, who is scheduled to arrive in India on Monday, has revealed that she was once a secret resident of Delhi`s posh Pandara Road, where she lived with her children under an assumed identity trying to escape the attention of those who assassinated her father Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the man who liberated the country from the cruel hands of Pakistan rule.
In an interview with an Indian news agency, Hasina recollected her last meeting with family members before they were assassinated.
"Because my husband was abroad, 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 [our] father, mother. That was the last day, you know," Hasina told ANI as she remembered the darkest phase in the country's history which happened in 1975.
Hasina went to Germany to meet her husband and left the country ahead of the assassination of her family members.
Hasina said the news of the assassination of her family members was 'unbelievable'.
"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.
She recollected the role played by former Indian PM Indira Gandhi during the period, and said 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 the family are still alive," the Bangladesh Prime Minister said.
Haisna will pay a State Visit to India on Sept 5-8.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last visited New Delhi in October 2019.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founding father of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.
He served as the first President of Bangladesh and later Prime Minister of Bangladesh from March 1971 until his assassination in August 1975.
He was the driving force behind gaining independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan's rule.
Describing the horror of the war and the violence committed by Pakistani Army in Bangladesh, Muntasir Mamun, President of the Archive trust and Professor of history of Dhaka University had once told Indian news agency PTI in an interview in 2019: "Pakistani Army massacred more than 30 lakh Bangladeshis and raped six lakh women during the liberation war which is an instance of barbaric acts by the Pakistani army and we are showcasing these facts to make aware about the history to the people, particularly the young generation."
The war began when the Pakistani military junta based in West Pakistan under the orders of Yahya Khan launched Operation Searchlight against the people of East Pakistan on the night of 25 March 1971, initiating the Bangladesh genocide.
The war began with Pakistan's Operation Chengiz Khan which was preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations, which led to the commencement of hostilities with Pakistan and Indian entry into the war for independence in East Pakistan on the side of Bengali nationalist forces, expanding the existing conflict with Indian and Pakistani forces engaging on both eastern and western fronts.
Thirteen days after the war started, India achieved a clear upper hand, the Eastern Command of the Pakistan military signed the instrument of surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, marking the formation of East Pakistan as the new nation of Bangladesh.