7 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami PW 12

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the Nizami case, the Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Rathindra Nath Kundu, Prosecution witness 12. The Defense also conducted their cross-examination of the witness. The Tribunal then adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 8 July 2013.

Prosecution witness 12
Ratindra Nath Kunda, Prosecution Witness 12, testified in support of Charges 1 and 10. Charge 1 alleges that Nizami is responsible for the arrest, detention, torture and killing of Kasim Uddin. He is charged under section 3(2)(a) read with section 4(1), providing for joint criminal liability, and section 4(2), providing for liability under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility. Charge 15 alleges that Nizami committed the crime of persecution as a Crime Against Humanity under section 3(2)(a). The Accused is charged under section 3(2)(a) with section 4(1) and section 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.

Ratindra Nath Kunda testified that he passed SSC in 1968, HSC in 1970 and MBBS in 1984. He stated that on 22 February 1984 he joined government service. In 1985 he claimed he went to visit his brother-in-law Anil Kunda’s house located at Nilphomari with his wife. During this visit Anil told Ratindra about incidents from the Liberation War. Anil informed him that in 1971, after the beginning of the Liberation War he went to India with his friends to be trained as a freedom fighter. After being trained for 3 or 4 months Anil then returned to Bangladesh and joined the Liberation War under sector 7. Anil told Ratindra that due to the cruelty of Nazime Ala, the Secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho, and Al-Badr founder Motiur Rahman Nizami, Anil’s parents were forced to leave for India. Anil also told him that in May, following Nizami’s orders, a group of Razakars led by Nizami’s nephew looted Anil’s house and set the house on fire as retribution because Anil had joined the Liberation War effort.

Ratindra testified that Anil and his group commander Baten, along with Hamid, Fanindra Ghosh, Habibur Rahman and others, patrolled the Ishamoti river of Sathia Police station. He stated that they planned to take revenge by capturing Nizami’s nephew. Anil said that they were able to capture a group of Razakars along with Nizami’s nephew and that Anil and his associates killed Nizami’s nephew. The other Razakars managed to flee the spot and  threw Nizami’s nephew’s body into the Ishamoti river. A month later in September, in order to take revenge for his nephew’s murder, Nizami ordered a group of Razakars to capture those responsible for his nephew’s death. Baten was subsequently captured and killed, allegedly while he was unarmed.

Ratindra further testified that in the last part of August 1971 he met with his school friend Showpon who informed him that he had seen Pakistani Army members in a jeep take away their teacher Moulana Kasim Uddin and two others, all of whom were blindfolded. Showpon also told Ratindra that Nizami was in the jeep at that time. Ratindra testified that after the death of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15 August 1975, Anil left Shonatola for Nilphamari out of fear of Nizami. Anil died on 8 May 2010. Ratindra said that he knew Nizami as both of them resided in the same constituency. He identified Nizami in the dock. Ratindra acknowledged that he had been interviewed by the Investigation Officer.

The Defense asked the witness where he took admission after passing HSC in 1970. Ratindra replied that he took admission in Edward College for BSc. The Defense then asked the witness numerous questions about his familiarity with the political leaders of 1971 and student organization of the Edward College. They also asked the witness about the Nagorbari, Shalgaria with the aim of casting doubt on the testimony given by Shamsul Haque alias Nannu (PW-11).

The Defense asked the witness whether he visited the field of the Zilla School between 25 March 1971 to 9 April 1971. The witness said he had and stated that Moulana Kasim Uddin used to give trainings at that place with Bokul and many more. The Defense asked the witness about the associates of Ani: Habibur Rahman and Baten. Ratindra stated that he did not know them personally. The Defense claimed that before the Liberation War the politics of Pabna were divided into three factions, one in favor of independence, another in support of a unified Pakistan, and the third was Nakshal, which was led by Baten. The witness disagreed and said that Nakshal was led by Tipu Biswash. He stated that he did not know whether Baten was part of Nakshal’s leadership.

The Defense then asked the witness about the nephew of Nizami. The witness claimed that Anil did not tell him the nephew’s name. The Defense asked the witness whether he attempted to verify that Nizami had a nephew or if he was actually killed during the war. Ratindra replied that he did not search for this information. The Defense asked the witness whether Anil had informed him that Nizami was detained by him and his associates. The witness first replied that he was unwilling to answer the question, then said he was willing to answer but claimed he could not recall. The Defense asked if the witness knew that after the victory several cases were filed for the commission of crimes during the Liberation War in the Bera and Pabna areas. The witness acknowledged that such cases were filed. The Defense asked the witness whether he knew of any case in which Nizami was accused. The witness replied that he does not recall. The Defense asked the witness whether he had seen any news in any newspaper between 25 March and 31 December 1975 alleging that Nizami was the founder of Al-Badr. The witness replied that he cannot recall.