Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim
Prosecutor Rana Das Gupta opened the closing arguments on behalf of the Prosecution in the case against Abdul Alim. He mainly confined himself to discussing evidentiary aspects of the case, including referring to the specific pieces of documentary evidence. Prosecutor Tureen Afroz is expected to make additional submissions on the key legal arguments of the Prosecution.
Mr. Gupta submitted that it was Alim who had formed and led the Peace Committee in Jaipurhat area. The Prosecutor discussed the historical background relevant to the case, noting that the leaders of political parties opposed to an independent Bangladesh had held meetings in April 1971 with the then Governor of East Pakistan, General Tikka Khan, infamously known amongst Bangladeshis as the “Butcher of Baluchistan.” The Peace Committee was formed following that meeting so as to assist the Pakistani Government in preventing the Bengali struggle for liberation. Citing documentary evidence in the case, Mr. Rana argued that the President and General Secretary of the then existing Convention Muslim League (CML) had directed their leaders and activists to form Peace Committees. This was done in Jaipurhat under the leadership of the accused, Alim, in compliance with the direction.
Prosecutor Rana Das Gupta referred to various newspaper articles to support his averment that Alim, who had been a leader of Ayub Khan’s Convention Muslim League since 1962, lead the Jaipurhat Peace Committee and participated in atrocities committed therein. Newspaper reports cited by the Prosecution included Dainik Bangla’s 18 January 1972 issue with a report headlined “Brutality of occupation force,” where Abdul Alim was allegedly classified as a Peace Committee leader in Jaipurhat. References were also made to the Dainik Bangladesh of Bogra 23 January 1972 issue, which had reprinted the same report. Mr. Gupta also contended that Alim’s name appeared on a list given by the Deputy Commissioner’s Office of Jaipurhat as the Chairman of Jaipurhat Peace Committee. National dailies such as Dainik Bangladesh 17 January 1972 issue, and a book by ASM Shamsul Arefin named “Associates of Pakistan Army in 1971” were among other documentary evidences cited and relied upon by the prosecution. The Prosecution also referred to one abstract from East Pakistan Police, and contended that Alim had been seen delivering a speech in Bogra as the vice-chairman of Bogra District Council on 14th August 1971, which negates the averment of Alim’s son, DW-3, who claimed that his father went in to hiding in April of 1971.
The Prosecutor proceeded to review each of the charges against the accused, discussing the testimony of the witnesses relevant to Charge 1 and Charge 2. The case was then adjourned for the day by the two-member tribunal of Mr. Justice Mozibur Rahman Miah and Mr. Justice Md Shahinur Islam. The Chairman of Tribunal 2, Mr. Justice Obaidul Hassan, remains on leave.