A prosecution witness yesterday testified that Abul Kalam Azad had abducted his sister and driven her to suicide after her release as his cohorts tried to abduct her again during the Liberation War.
Dev Kumar Das, brother of victim Anjali Das and eleventh prosecution witness in the case against the expelled Jamaat-e-Islami member, told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that Azad alias Bachchu Razakar and his cohorts also looted their house forcing them to leave the country.
Rawshan Ali Biswas, a neighbour of Dev and twelfth prosecution witness, gave almost a similar description of the heart-wrenching incident committed in Ujirpur in Faridpur.
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir with members Justice Obaidul Hassan and Judge M Shahinur Islam completed recording their testimonies and cross-examination.
During his 20-minute testimony, 53-year-old Dev said Bachchu Razakar along with seven to eight armed men had come to their house around 3:00pm on May 18, 1971. He told Dev's father he wanted to marry his 17/18-year-old sister Anjali, the witness added.
“As my father turned his proposal down, Bachchu and his cohorts took away my sister forcibly,” said Dev, adding, “My father humbly requested the Muslim leaders of our village to take initiative for her release.”
Bachchu released his sister after seven to eight days as the matter was informed to his father-in-law Chan Quazi, said Dev.
“My sister returned home one day, but her condition was not well. Around 2:30pm that day, cohorts of Bachchu Razakar attacked our house to abduct my sister again.
“My sister realised that they would take her away again,” said Dev, adding, “She took her life taking poison to save her honour.”
After hearing the news of Anjali's suicide, Bachchu's cohorts left, Dev said, adding, Bachchu came to their house that evening and asked his father to burry Anjali.
“My father refused to do it, as we are Hindu and her body was cremated accordingly. Nine to ten days after the incident, Bachchu Razakar and his men looted our house and took away even the tin sheets of the roof.
“Afterwards, we left for India,” Dev concluded.
During his 21-minute testimony, 60-year-old Rawshan Ali Biswas said he had gone to Dev's house on May 18 after hearing a hue and cry and seen Bachchu and his cohorts taking his sister away forcibly.
“I heard later that Anjali was confined in the house of Chan Quazi and after six to seven days she returned home alone,” said Rawshan, a farmer by profession.
Anjali committed suicide as Bachchu's men tried to abduct her again, he added.
“Bachchu was Razakar. He used to assist Pakistani army [during the war]. After receiving training in Faridpur, he killed numerous people and raped many women,” added Rawshan.
“This Bachchu Razakar broke my house and looted houses of my neighbours. I had to go into hiding. Almost all the Hindu families of our village had to take shelter in India in fear of Pakistani army and Razakars,” said Rawshan.
State-appointed defence counsel Abdus Shukur Khan cross-examined the witnesses before the court adjourned the proceeding until today.
The tribunal indicted Azad with eight charges of crimes against humanity on November 4 and has been holding his trial in absentia as he is on the run.