Today due to an opposition led hartal (strike) our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. We have compiled the following summary from media sources and conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.
Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Salauddin Qader Chowdhury – Cross-Examination of Prosecution Witness 22
Ahsanul Huq Hena, Senior Defense Counsel for Salauddin Qader Chowdhury cross-examined Anil Baran Dhar, PW-22. Thereafter, Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until April 1, 2013
Cross-examination of Prosecution Witness 22
Prosecution witness 22, Anil Baran Dhar, testified that he filed a case at the Raozan Police Station on 5 April 1972 under section 148/149/302/34, accusing 16 persons including Salauddin Qader Chowdhury and his father Fazlul Qader Chowdhury. However, the witness testified that he cannot remember whether a Charge Sheet was issued against Fazlul Qader Chowdhury and Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. He said that after filing the case he did not stay up to date on the case’s progress and denied that he actually knew everything about the case. Dhar testified that the Pakistani Army first went to Raozan on 13 April 1971. He said that he could not remember whether Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used his speech on 7 March 1971 to call on the people to form Shangram Parishad (committees for preparation of conflict) in each and every village and town to stand against Pakistan. Dhar testified that he did not know whether any committee was formed in Raozan to stand against Pakistan. He additionally said he did not know what was written on his SSC certificate as his date of birth.
The witness testified that his house is about 150-200 yards away from Rangamati road. He said that 80 to 100 inhabitants resided in their village in 1971. He said that the house of Umesh Chandra was 200 yards away from Rangamati road. Dhar stated that in 1971 his grandmother, parents and siblings lived together in the same house. He claimed that he did not hear any sounds of firing from the Rangamati road. He stated that Kundeshori Medicine Centre was about two miles away from his house. He said that he is aware of both the J.K Memorial Hospital and Chandraghona Christian Memorial Hospital. Dhar claimed before independence he took treatment from those facilities and at that time there were foreign doctors in this hospital. He said that Chandraghona Christan Memorial Hospital was located in Rangunia. He said that he did not know whether injured freedom fighters were treated there in 1971. Dhar stated that to after passing Raozon, on the way to Chittagong, one will reach Rangunia. Dhar testified that on the west side of his house there was a canal and that Topon Dhar’s house and Chitha Ronjon’s house were on either side of his house.
Anil denied that during the 1979 election he was beaten by Mahbub and others after distributing abusive leaflets against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury. He admitted that Salauddin Qader Chowdhury did not lose any election in Raozan. Dhar testified that he did not know whether anyone by the name of Anil Barn Dhar died on 13 April 1971 in South Banikpara. He said that he did not receive a death certificate for his father from the Union Council. Dhar further testified that he never even saw the death certificate of Monindra Pal Dhar and Nepal Dhar.
Dhar testified that he reached to his maternal uncle’s house located at Fatiksori on 15 or 16 April 1971 and that the house was located 5 miles from his house. He further testified that on his way to Fatiksori he had to cross Rangamati road. Dhar stated that before going to the Chittagong Hospital he stayed at his uncle’s house for about one and half months and that the neighbors of his maternal uncle were aware of his injury. Dhar testified that his area was South Banikpara. He denied that he is the member of Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian Oikkao Parishad, or that he is currently working there. Dhar said that on his way to the Chittagong Medical College from his maternal uncle’s house he had to cross Hathazari road, Rangamati road and Taiger road (Noapara Cantonment) and Sholoshor. He said that he could not remember whether there was a check post on his way to Chittagong Medical College. He said that he does not know whether any injured party would have to go the emergency section first if he wished to receive treatment. Dhar testified that the doctor was his uncle’s neighbor and helped him to gain admission to the hospital. The witness testified that he did not know whether there was any police box during the emergency period and that he does not know whether ward 5 was a pediatric ward and ward 15 was the Surgery ward in 1971. He further said that he does not know in which ward the doctor who took him to the Chittagong Medical College worked. He stated that he received treatment for 20 or 21 days. He said he did not remember whether x-rays were taken and does not know the name of the ward master, surgeon or the head of the department. He said that he did receive a discharge letter from the Chittagong Medical College. Dhar denied that he is lying about receiving treatment at Chittagong Medical College. He said that he does not remember whether he told the Investigating Officer that he receive a bullet injury to his back and left hand. He denied that he is fabricating the story of his injury.
The witness testified that when firing began he, his father and his uncle were also accompanied by one other, making them four. He said that most probably Monindra Lal Dhar was beside him when they were in the line. He testified that the Pakistani Army was were very close when they were firing. Dhar stated that he did not know where his companions were shot. He claimed that he regained consciousness at 3 or 4 pm and that that he did not see any persons other than the three corpses next to him. Dhar said that his uncle Jothindra accompanied him when he went to his maternal uncle’s house, but he could not recall his uncle’s father name.
Dhar testified that he did not know how far Shabrum was from his uncle’s house. He said that he did not meet with any political leaders or activists while he was in his uncle’s house. He further said that he did not ask anyone on that day how long the Pakistani armies had been in their area. Dhar said that he did not remember whether the family members of Upendra Lal Dhar, Manindra Lal Dhar and Nepal Chandra filed any legal case regarding the incident. Additionally, he did not remember whether the name of Abdul Mabud and Golam Ali’s name was included the case which he (Dhar) filed at Raozan. He said that he returned to his maternal uncle’s house after his release from the Chittagong Medical College. The witness denied that he sustained his injury from a car accident in India and additionally denied that he was shot during firing from the Pakistani Army. He denied that due to a lack of treatment gangrene developed and his hand was ultimately amputated in Calcutta. He also denied that he could not show medical documents relating to his alleged treatment at Chittagong Medical College because he was actually treated in Calcutta. Dhar denied that he did not mention his bullet injury in the case which he filed in 1972.
The Defense then drew the Tribunal’s attention to contradictions in the witness’ testimony. Dhar denied that he was lying and reasserted that he told the Investigating Officer that on April 13, 1971 at about 1 or 1:30 pm Fazlul Qader Chowdhury and his supporters, including Salauddin Qader Chowdhury, entered Dhar’s village while chanting pro-Pakistan slogans. They shot at Dhar’s group and Dhar became unconscious after being shot in his left hand and the back of his chest. After the incident Dhar went to his maternal uncle’s house located at Ishapur, Fatikhsori. He claimed that after his release from the hospital he found out that on 13 April 1971 a similar incident happened in the village of Gohira, Gohira Biswash Para, Kundeshori, Gogothmollo Para and Unosothur Para. Dhar denied that Prosecution instructed him to show the court his amputated hand and the scar from his alleged bullet injury and to lie about the fact that his back injury was actually sustained during a childhood fall from a tree. Dhar denied that Abdullah Al Harun told him to file a case in 1972 and denied that he came from India to provide false testimony at the request of Profullo Shing and the Hindu, Buddha, Christian Oikko Parishad. He also denied that his father, Upendra Lal Dhar, Manindra Lal Dhar and Nepal Chandra went to India and did not return. Dhar denied that he had no relatives in Fatiksori, Ishapur. He asserted that his accusations against Salauddin Qader Chowdhury are true.