Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mojaheed led Al-Badr

Prosecution places evidence in closing arguments at war crimes tribunal

Al-Badr was formed only with the members of Islami Chhatra Sangha and their president Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed was also the chief of the force which was mainly responsible for the intellectuals’ killings during the Liberation War.
Initiating their closing arguments in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Mojaheed, the prosecution yesterday tried to prove this fact with the help of documentary and verbal evidence before the International Crimes Tribunal-2.
During his around two-hour arguments, conducting prosecutor Muklesur Rahman Badal presented copies of newspapers of 1971, the then government’s secret reports and relevant books.
The three-member tribunal, led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Judge M Shahinur Islam, heard the arguments before adjourning the proceeding until May 12.
The tribunal, as per relevant laws, would set a date for delivering the verdict in the case after hearing the closing arguments by both the prosecution and the defence.
Mojaheed was indicted on seven charges including murder, genocide and conspiracy to kill the intellectuals during the war.
In the beginning of his submission, Badal said the trial was being held for neither political vengeance nor personal interests as its purpose was to establish the rule of law and come out from the culture of impunity.
He said Mojaheed was the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of Jamaat, of Faridpur district in between 1968-1970 and had served as its Dhaka city unit president from January to July in 1971.
Mojaheed became the general secretary of Chhatra Sangha’s East Pakistan unit in July 1971 and became its president in October, 1971, Badal added.
The prosecutor said Al-Badr force was comprised of only the leaders and activists of Chhatra Sangha and its objective was to “assist and collaborate” with the Pakistani occupation army.
The force as per its blueprint had tortured and killed the Hindus and intellectuals terming them pro-liberation people, “Indian agents”, “miscreants” and “enemies of Pakistan”, said Badal.
“So, normally the responsibility of Al-Badr command falls on accused Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed as he was the general secretary and subsequently the president of Islami Chhatra Sangha from October to December 16, 1971,” said Badal.
At this point, the tribunal asked if it was a matter of inference that Mojaheed was the chief of Al-Badr force because he was the president of Chhatra Sangha.
“No, I will prove the matter through documentary and verbal evidence,” said Badal.
He then showed a photo published by the daily Azad on December 11, 1971 with the caption “Al-Badr chief Mojaheed addressing a street rally organised by Al-Badr [on Baitul Mukarram mosque premises] yesterday where he uttered caution against people spreading rumours”.
Showing a report with photograph of the daily Purbadesh of December 5, 1971 headlined “Mass contact campaign of Al-Badr”, Badal said the Al-Badr men had addressed a rally from a vehicle hoisting a banner of Al-Badr.
The prosecutor said freedom fighter Zahir Uddin Jalal, their second witness in the case, testified that he had hurled a grenade at Mojaheed in that rally held at Chawkbazar on December 4, 1971.
Citing from the “Fortnightly Secret Report on the Situation in East Pakistan”, Badal said Mojaheed travelled across the country and delivered speeches to instigate his followers to kill pro-liberation people and loot their establishments.
On October 17, 1971, Mojaheed, as the acting president of Chhatra Sangha, addressed a Chhatra Sangha conference in Rangpur where he urged party men to from Al-Badr force at different levels to defend the country from internal and external forces, Badal said quoting from the report.
On the same day, Mojaheed addressed a “workers’ conference” where he urged party men to ensure that none from outside the Chhatra Sangha could join Al-Badr, said Badal, adding that Mojaheed had addressed rallies in Bogra on October 18, in Magura on October 19 and in Dhaka on October 25.
From the book “Ekattorer Ghatak o Dalalra Ke Kothay” Badal showed a list of Al-Badr high-ups. The book says Jamaat incumbent Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami was in charge of Al-Badr in entire Pakistan, while Mojaheed was its chief in East Pakistan.
Quoting from “Sunset at Midday” written by former Jamaat leader Mohiuddin Choudhury, Badal said it was clear from the book that the entire Chhatra Sangha had turned into Al-Badr force in 1971.
“The workers purely belonging to Islami Chhatra Sangha were Al-Badr [men],” Badal quoted the writer as saying in the book.
Citing from “Al-Badr” written by Pakistan national Selim Mansur Khaled, Badal said Mojaheed had addressed Al-Badr men at their headquarters even two hours before the surrender of the Pakistani army on December 16, 1971.
Meanwhile, the tribunal completed recording cross-examination of Mostafizur Rahman, 18th prosecution witness in the case against Abdul Alim, and adjourned the proceeding until today.