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Sir Frank Peters, let’s bring-back the killers of Sheikh Russel

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh, Sheikh Russel, Sheikh Hasina, Begum Fazilatunnesa

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Sir Frank Peters, let’s bring-back the killers of Sheikh Russel

Sir Frank Peters, a great friend and a regular columnist at Blitz in a recent article on Sheikh Russel wrote, “They say in every child there are the making of a saint, Sheikh Russel’s radiant award-winning smile alone would qualify him for sainthood”. Peters, being a great friend of Bangladesh and an admirer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sheikh Hasina has been promoting Bangladesh in the world, while he also shows great appreciation at the ongoing progress and prosperity of our country under the magnanimous statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

In his recent article on the occasion of Sheikh Russel Day, Sir Frank Peters wrote: “If ‘natural’ deaths have that shattering effect on the human system, imagine the grief felt by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana when they learned of the assassination of their younger brother Shaheed Sheikh Russel. I can only hazard a guess as to the extent of the devastation they experienced.

“The misery within the hearts of the loving family is immeasurable and their outpouring of grief, understandably, can last for decades, if not for eternity.

The family is never the same again, never complete, however hard they try, similar to a jigsaw puzzle that is missing a piece.

“…Young Russel’s ruthless killing on August 15, 1975, shook Bangladesh at its core like a 9.5 earthquake on the Richter scale and made the nation gasp in horror and disbelief. How was it possible that anyone could perform such a horrific pitiless act and kill a life-loving, life-hugging innocent bright boy, people pondered. It seemed so unreal, so incredible, and so unbelievable such a ghastly act could happen.

“The bubbly Sheikh Russel was the youngest child of Begum Fazilatunnesa and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father and first President of Bangladesh. It is sad and unforgivable that the life of this effervescent smiling lad of 10 was terminated in its prime

“The failed coup and absurd murder not only brought shame to Bangladesh, but it shamed human history. In every coup there are deaths and collateral damage, but children are deemed to be no threat and, thus, spared. This one, disgracefully, broke all the laws of both man and God.

“History records that Sheikh Russel was a likeable young lad whose eyes glistened and danced with the excitement of being alive and having fun and bringing joy into the lives of others. He was a good mannered, well-behaved cherub and his friends numbered many, but that’s not to say he wasn’t mischievous, after all he was a boy of 11 and boys will be boys!

“He like other kids his age preferred to be outside with his friends playing cricket, football or badminton and not attending to his school studies. He made friends easily and always had a smile for everyone, stranger or friend – and at the Bangabandhu home there were many callers on whom to practice. When illuminated, his smile penetrated the exterior of even the most frozen hearts and melted them. That was his heavenly gift”.

At the concluding paragraph of the article, Frank Peters wrote: “They say in every child there are the making of a saint, Sheikh Russel’s radiant award-winning smile alone would qualify him for sainthood”.

After reading this masterpiece on Sheikh Russel, I could not hold my tears. Sheikh Russel was one year older than me. Both of us had witnessed our war of liberation and birth of an independent Bangladesh.

My relations with Sir Frank Peters dates back to 2007, when he began writing for Blitz and during these years, despite many ups-and-downs in my own life, Frank Peters had never abandoned me – and the Blitz family. For this reason, he always holds a special place in my heart. He truly is a brother to me and most of the members of our newspaper.

Frank Peters has been a relentless crusader against corporal punishment for more than a decade. His voice against corporal punishment not only has reached majority of the people in Bangladesh, but also the international community. Being a former newspaper editor with connections with important people in the world, Frank Peters has the ability of enthusiastically pushing forward his missions, and I do believe, to him, the issue of getting back the fugitive killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his family members, including Sheikh Russel is now would be on priority list.

From October 18, 2021, I have started a global effort of creating international opinion against the cruel killers of Bangabandhu and his family. Since that day, I am writing my friends in the international media as well as a large number of influential figures in the Western countries. And of course, I am humbly requesting Sir Frank Peters to join me in this endeavor. Together we surely can achieve our goal.

Through this article, I am appealing to every journalist, social activists and policymakers in the world to please join in this effort of getting the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members, including Sheikh Russel, returned to Bangladesh immediately.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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