Canada has ordered the deportation of a former army major convicted of assassinating Bangladesh's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 after rejecting his asylum plea.
Sacked major Noor Chowdhury was ordered to be deported from Canada after his request for asylum was rejected as Bangladesh government stepped up efforts to bring to justice those absconding in the case, the Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said.
"Chowdhury's passport has been impounded and given to our embassy officials in Ottawa," Ahmed said.
Noor Chowdhury is among 12 fugitive army personnel whose conviction by a lower court was recently upheld by the Bangladesh's Supreme Court.
Former major Chowdhury, according to the murder trial proceedings, shot Sheikh Mujib dead along with ex-Major Bazlul Huda.
Chowdhury still could stop his extradition if he sought intervention by Canadian courts, the minister said.
Bangladesh Supreme Court recently upheld the death sentence awarded to five army officers involved in the assassination who are in jail. As many as 20 army personnel were involved in the killing of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Mujib, his wife, close relatives and staff.
Sheikh Mujib, popularly called Bangabandhu, who led Bangladesh to independence in 1971, was gunned down at his home in a posh Dhanmandi area, along with his wife and three sons in a coup on August 15, 1975.
Bangladesh authorities have already moved the Interpol to issue "red alert" to nab the fugitives linked to the assassination who are believed to be living abroad.
Chowdhury would be the third wanted convict in the case to be deported. In 1998, Huda was extradited from Thai jail after Dhaka and Bangkok signed an extradition treaty.
The US deported another convict ex-Lt Col. AKM Mohiuddin in 2007. Other five convicted personnel still at large are sacked Lt Col Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haq Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, Captain Mazed and Risaldar Moslem Uddin.
According to media reports, Rashid, one of the key plotters of the massacre, has settled in Libya, where he is involved in construction business and often visits Pakistan.
Dalim lives in Pakistan, and frequently travels to Libya and Kenyan capital Nairobi where he has businesses, it said. The reports, based on intelligence sources, said Noor Chowdhury and Rashed Chowdhury are in Canada and the US.
Rashed is trying to secure asylum in the US. The Home Minister Sahara Khatun said the absconding killers were on the move from one country to another to avoid being extradited.
The five, who will face the gallows, are sacked army officers Lt Col Syed Faruq Rahman, Sultan Shariar Rashid Khan, Mohiuddin Ahmed, AKM Mohiuddin and Huda. PTI