23 April 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Abul Alim Prosecution Witness 16

Today due to a nation-wide hartal our researchers were unable to attend proceedings. Our coverage is compiled from media sources and conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.

the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim: Examination-in-Chief of Prosecution Witness 16, Accused Present

The Prosecution called Mr AKM Mahbubur Rahman to testify as Prosecution Witness 16.  Mahbubur is a local businessman, who is the nephew of victims allegedly killed on 26 May 1971. The witness testified in support of Charge 7, alleging that Alim was involved with the Pakistani army in the killing. Mahbubur stated that the Accused was a leading figure of the Peace Committee, and that he helped to form an anti-liberation force in Jaipurhat and Panchbibi. This auxiliary force, known as Rajakar Bahini, apprehended and delivered unarmed civilians and supporters of Bangladeshi independence to the Pakistan Army. They also committed arson and looting.

Mahbubur stated that on 26th May 1971 the Pakistan Army raided their home in Nowda village, based on information collected by two Rajakars, Ahmed Bihari and Rashid Bihari. The witness and his elder brother Bazlur Rahman hid but were able to see the incident. With the assistance of Ahmed and Rashid, who announced that the Army was there to restore peace, the witnesses’ uncles Yusuf Uddin Sardar, Yunus Uddin Sardar  and Ilias Uddin Sarder were taken into the custody of the Pakistani Army. Mahbubur testified that his cousin Abul Kashem Sardar went to attempt to get the men released. The witness said that Abul Kashem was advised by some Peace Committee members to talk to Abul Alim about the matter.  Upon returning from Alim’s Peace Committeee office in Shaon Lal Bazla’s Godighor, Kashem said that Alim denied to release the victims because they were suspected of being affiliated with the freedom fighters. The witness said that he and others heard gunshots coming from Kali Shaha’s pond in the evening at around 6:30 p.m. The family knew that the detainees had been shot to death.

After the incident, Mahbubur said that he and his family fled to India and only returned after independence. The witness said that they later disinterred their bodies from the mass grave near Kali Shaha’s pond and reburied them following appropriate burial rituals.