Syed Faruque Rahman
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Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruque Rahman (also spelled Farooq or Faruk) (Bengali: সৈয়দ ফারুক রহমান) (died 28 January 2010) was a Bangladeshi army officer who was the chief organiser of the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding President of Bangladesh on 15 August 1975. Rahman led a group of junior army officers who overthrew Sheikh Mujib's regime and installed Khondaker Mushtaque Ahmed as president.
Holding the rank of Major, Rahman was the lead organiser of a group of junior officers who were disenchanted with the rule of Bangladesh's founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The plotters accused Sheikh Mujib of corruption, nepotism and ruling as a dictator, and criticised his pro-India and pro-Soviet stance in foreign affairs. Supported covertly by senior cabinet minister Khondaker Mushtaque Ahmed, Rahman planned and led a coup which resulted in the deaths of Mujib and his entire family, with the exception of two of Mujib's daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana. Immediately after the killing, the officers installed Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed as the new president of Bangladesh.
As president, Khondaker Mushtaque Ahmed issued the Indemnity Ordinance, which prohibited any investigation and prosecution of the killing of Sheikh Mujib. Rahman was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and held a position of power in the new regime until it was overthrown in a counter-coup by pro-Mujib officers led by Maj. Gen. Khaled Mosharraf, who ousted Khondakar Mushtaque. However, 6 November 1975 coup against the Mosharraf by Lt. Col. Abu Taher brought Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman to power, who appointed Syed Faruque Rahman and the other assassins to positions of power in the armed forces and diplomatic corps. In 1979, the Bangladeshi parliament under Ziaur Rahman's Bangladesh Nationalist Party converted the Indemnity ordinance into an official act of parliament.
In the 1980s, Rahman was forced out of the army and into retirement. After the assassination of Ziaur Rahman in 1981, Rahman returned to active politics by founding the Freedom Party and running for the presidency against Lt. Gen. Hussain Muhammad Ershad in 1986. He maintained ties with ULFA in Assam, India.
Trial and execution
In 1996, the Awami League under the leadership of Mujib's daughter, Sheikh Hasina won the general election and became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Under her party's majority, the Indemnity Act was repealed and a court case initiated over the killing of Mujib and his family. In 1998, the Dhaka High Court sentenced Syed Faruque Rahman to death. After the Awami League's defeat in the 2001 general election, the BNP government of Begum Khaleda Zia slowed down the proceedings in the Mujib murder case. After Sheikh Hasina returned to power in 2009, the court case was restarted. After Rahman's plea for clemency was denied by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, he was executed along with other plotters on 28 January 2010.
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