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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Wartime Killing in Faridpur

Widow testifies against Azad

A martyr's wife yesterday testified that Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar had killed her husband at their village home in Faridpur during the Liberation War.

Jyotsna Rani Das told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that she had left the country for India for safety where her three children died at a refugee camp.

“I want justice,” emotion-chocked Jyotsna, second prosecution witness in the case against expelled Jamaat member Azad, appealed to the tribunal.

Another eyewitness testified before the tribunal that Azad killed Sudhangshu Mohan Roy of Kolaran of Faridpur on May 14, 1971.

“I saw Bachchu Razakar shooting Sudhangshu Babu,” freedom fighter Nepal Chandra Pathak, first prosecution witness in the case, said.

The three-member tribunal headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir with members Justice Obaidul Hassan and Judge M Shahinur Islam recorded testimony and cross-examination of both the witnesses after the prosecution completed reading out opening statement.

Reading out the opening statement, prosecutor Sahidur Rahman said Azad, a former leader of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, assisted the Pakistani occupation force as a Razakar commander and as the chief of Al-Badr in Faridpur and committed crimes against humanity.

On November 4, the tribunal indicted Azad with eight charges of crimes against humanity including genocide, murder and rape committed during the war.

The tribunal decided to hold the trial in absentia as Azad went into hiding around seven hours before the second tribunal issued an arrest warrant against him on April 3.

In her testimony, 65-year-old Jyotsna said on the 19th of Bangla month Jaistha, some 20-25 armed men led by Bachchu Razakar came to Fulbaira in Faridpur.

“Of them, eight to nine men including Bachchu Razakar entered our house, while others were looting our neighbours,” said Jyotsna, adding, “Bachchu caught my husband Chitta Ranjan Das and started beating him up.”

“He [Bachchu] hit me down when I went to save my husband and shot him to death after taking him outside,” she added.

After half an hour, Bachchu killed one Babul Debnath on the west side of her house, she added.

The gang dumped the bodies into nearby Kumar river later, she continued.

Jyotsna, who was pregnant at that time, left the country along with her three children after 10 to 15 days and took shelter in an Indian refugee camp.

“My three children died at the camp at Kalyani after suffering from diarrhoea,” said Jyotsna, adding that she gave birth to a child on December 28, 1971 there.

Earlier, Nepal in his 32-minute testimony said he had gone to the house of Sudhangshu Mohan Roy to meet his brother on May 14, 1971.

“At around 3:00pm, 10-12 armed men entered the house with .303 rifles in hands and Bachchu Razakar ordered Sudhangshu Babu to come out,” said 60-year-old Nepal.

Sudhangshu's wife and sons humbly requested Bachchu to release him, but Bachchu took him outside, Nepal added. “They also took Monimoy Roy alias Kesto, the elder son of Sudhangshu Babu with them.”

After taking the rings from Sudhangshu's hands, Bachchu signalled them to go back home.

“When they were approaching the house, Bachchu Razakar shot Sudhangshu Babu from behind,” said Nepal.

Another person shot Monimoy in his leg, Nepal added.

Bachchu along with Pakistani army also attacked Hasamdia and Mayendia Bazar, looted valuables and killed a number of people there, Nepal added.

QUADER MOLLAH' CASE
The tribunal completed recording the testimony and cross-examination of Muslem Uddin Ahmed, third defence witness in the case against Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.

In his 20-minute testimony, Muslem said he and the accused had studied in the same school and college.

Muslem said he had seen Mollah, who was in Dhaka for higher education, at their village around eight to ten days after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's March 7 speech in 1971.

Quader ran a business with one Dhala Mia Pir's elder son at local Chouddarashi Bazar throughout the year, added Muslem.

Prosecutor Mohammad Ali cross-examined Muslem.

Replying to a question, Muslem said he had got no summon from the tribunal. “Son of Quader Mollah asked me to give testimony around eight to ten days ago. I was not sure whether I would have to give testimony,” replied Muslem.

The tribunal adjourned the proceeding of the case until Thursday.

ICT-1
Meanwhile, the defence of war crimes case against another Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee yesterday placed argument at the International Crimes Tribunal-1.

The defence placed arguments on charges No. 4, 14, and 16 out of 20 charges against Sayedee for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity.

The proceeding of the case was adjourned until today.

Earlier in the morning, war crimes accused former Jamaat ameer Ghulam Azam fell sick at the tribunal. He was rushed to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for treatment.

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