DHAKA - Bangladesh on Tuesday banned a novel by popular fiction writer Humayun Ahmed for allegedly distorting how the nation's first president and his family were murdered in 1975. Ahmed's books are bestsellers in B’desh and have been translated into English, Japanese, Russian and other languages. Two chapters of his latest novel "Deyal" were published in a newspaper last week, sparking controversy over his account of how Mujibur Rahman was killed along with his family in August 1975. The high court stepped in after the attorney general sought a ban on the book, arguing that it "misrepresented established fact" about the grisly massacre by not fully conveying the brutality of the killings.
Mujib's daughter, Sheikh Hasina, who was abroad at the time of the murders, is currently the prime minister and a stout defender of his memory.
Mujib is seen as the founding father of Bangladesh.
A suggestion in Ahmed's novel that Sheikh Russel, Mujib's 10-year-old son, was shot dead at point-blank range when he was in a room with his two sisters-in-law is one passage that angered officials.
"It was a brutal scene, but it was not depicted properly in the novel," Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters.
In March, the high court ordered police to pursue 17 professors for allegedly distorting the history of the liberation and for maligning Mujib in a school textbook.
Millions of copies of another textbook were also ordered to be seized in January in a dispute over credit for the independence struggle.