Despite a 60-hour nationwide Hartal that kept ICT-2 out of session today, ICT-1 proceeded to hear matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdus Sobhan
In the case against Abdus Sobhan, today was set for defense hearing on charge matter. However, the Defense sought adjournment for a week. The Tribunal granted the motion and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 18 November 2013.
In the case against Motiur Rahman Nizami, the Prosecution continued submissions for the third day. The Prosecution made pre-trial submissions on charge 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16. Thereafter, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings of the case until tomorrow, 6 November 2013.
Charge no 2
It is alleged that on 10 May 1971 in a meeting at Baousgari Ruposhi primary school, Nizami told the villagers that Pakistani Army would come soon. On 14 May 1971 the Pakistani Army came to their village with Razakars and surrounded the villages of Baousgari, Ruposhi and Demra. They picked up about 450 civilians, whom they shot and killed. It was alleged that Nizami’s 10 May 1971 meeting at Bousgari Ruposhi Primary School prima facie establishes that the said crimes of 14 May 1971 were premeditated and commissioned with Nizami’s knowledge. The charge claimed that Nizami is responsible for conspiracy and the killing, raping and deportation of the civilians; Nizami allegedly conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the ICT Act 1973 and commit crimes against humanity specified in section 3(2)(a) of the ICT Act 1973 and under 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
To support this charge, the Prosecution relied on and read the testimonies of Aynul Haque, Prosecution Witness 9; Shamsul Huq alias Nannu, Prosecution Witness 11; and Jahurul Haque, Prosecution Witness 18.
Md Aynul Haque testified that he was a teacher at Rupashi Primary School. He testified that in February, he learned from the newspaper that Motiur Rahman Nizami is the secretary of the Pakistani Islami Chhatra Shangho (student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami). Aynul testified that on 10 May 1971 he saw the Rupashi Primary School headmaster sitting with 10 or 12 people. He stated that he spoke with the headmaster and learned that the group came to form a peace committee. He further testified that, pointing toward a man, the headmaster named Motiur Rahman Nizami. Aynul stated that he already knew of the ‘Traitor Asad,” who was known as traitor since he collaborated with Pakistani military.
Aynul remarked that around 6 or 6:30am on 14 May 1971, his maternal uncle informed him that the Pakistani Army raided Demra, Rupashi and part of Baousgari. To survive, Aynul left the area with others. He testified that around 11 or 11:30am, he saw a flying helicopter as well as fumes and flames, and heard the firing sounds. Around 12 or 1 in the afternoon, he saw a man coming from the raided area who told them that many people had been killed inside the raided area. On the following day, 15 May 1971, Aynul came back to his village in the morning and got the corpses of 300 to 350 people in the Baousgari Pagar, which is now known as the mass grave of Baousgari; these corpses included those of his maternal uncle Asgor Ali Pramanik, uncle AKM Fakir, cousin Ahesh Fakir, Afil Fakir, Jamal Uddin Pramanik, one of his student Moksed Ali, Ram Jogonnath Roy, Boloram Roy, Monindro Nath Nondi, Dilip Kumar Roy, Nirmolendu Nath Roy, Gora Babu, and Abdul Jobbar. He said that he buried the corpses of his maternal uncle Asgor Ali Pramanik and other relatives without praying Janaza (last prayer). He stated that the relatives of the Muslim victims took away the corpses of their relatives and that the corpses of the Hindu victims were buried in the spot. He noted that in the evening, he learned that the Pakistani Army also raped women and that traitor Asad and his accomplices took the Pakistani Army into his (Aynul’s) area. He testified that traitor Asad was involved with the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami. The Witness later heard that, feeling ashamed about the rape victims, traitor Asad left the country for India.
Shamsul Haque (alias Nannu), Prosecution Witness 11, testified that at around 10 or 11 in the morning on 10 May 1971, Nizami, Maulana Abdus Sobhan, Maulana Ishaq, Rafiqun Nabi Bablu, traitor Asad, and others came to the Ruposhi Primary School headmaster’s office. Nannu stated that Nizami suggested the formation of a Peace Committee in that meeting; Nizami also allegedly said that Pakistani forces would soon come to the area to bring peace and instructed them to help. Nannu claimed that he was in Demra at the time, and, once informed of the incident, came to the school and saw Nizami, Maulana Abdus Sobhan, Maulana Ishaq, Rafiqun Nabi Bablu, and traitor Azad leaving the headmaster’s office towards Sathia. He confirmed that he heard the same thing when he asked the headmaster about the meeting.
Nannu testified that on 14 May 1971 during the Azan of the Fazr prayer (call for morning prayer), Nizami, Rafiqun Nabi, Maulana Abdus Sobhan and Asad raided the Ruposhi, Baousgari and Demra village with the Pakistani Army; they fired and killed unarmed, innocent people with the intention to destroy the Bengali. Nannu claimed that 450 persons were killed, including Asgor, Ahes, Waz, Apple, Aken, Abdur, Moksed, Khorshed, Abul, Jomiron, Khuderam, Balaram Ray, Dilip Kumar Ray, Monindra Nondi, Alam Pramanik. He described the attack as systematic and premeditated. He testified that the Pakistani Army, Nizami and his group set 137 houses, shops, educational institutions and mosque on fire. He testified that 30 to 40 women were raped in the incident. Nannu further commented that the Pakistani Army took away two college students, Shikha and Shila, who remain traceless. At the time of the incident, Nannu was allegedly at his friend Renua’s home. Upon hearing firing, he did not feel safe and left the house to escape. Nannu testified that when he came out from Renua’s house, he saw from the road that Nizami, Rafiqun Nabi, Maulana Abdus Sobhan, Maulana Ishaq and Asad were pointing towards people and the Pakistani Army would kill them. In fear, Nannu hid himself in a drain at the paddy field. He stated that he had seen girls being forcibly taken by thePakistani Army as well. Nannu allegedly went to the area after the Pakistani Army left, and he claimed that by the instruction, order and conspiracy of Nizami, the activists of Al-Badr committed crimes against humanity such as killing, looting and arson in different part of Pabna Zilla. The Prosecution argued that Nannu’s testimony corroborated the testimony of Aynul Haque, Prosecution Witness 9.
Zahurul Haque, Prosecution Witness 18, testified that on 13 May 1971 he and his friends Motahar Hossen, Rohiz Uddin, Altab Hossen, Abdul Khalek and others started to prepare for liberation war in Abdur Jabbar, located at Bausgari, Sathia. He stated that while preparing, he came to know from Aynul Huq, headmaster of Ruposhi Primary School, that on 10 May 1971 Motiur Rahman Nizami, the then Secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho, along with ten to twelve collaborators came to Ruposhi Primary School and held a discussion. In the meeting, Nizami told them that Pakistani Occupation Force would be coming soon to form a Peace Committee. Zahurul further testified that Nizami said that they had to form a Razakar and Al-Badr force and that Nizami further asked them to help the Pakistani Occupation Force.
Zahurul further stated that on 14 May 1971 after the Fazr prayer, he woke up from the sound of firing. He started to walk to the road and hid himself behind a bush, where he allegedly saw Nizami, Asad, Qader, Sattar, some collaborators and a group of the Pakistani Army indiscriminately firing and going toward the south side of the road. Zahurul testified that he along with his friends then went toward the canal on the east side of their village and that after six to seven hours they (Zahurul and others) returned to Baushgari and saw 400 Hindu and Muslim corpses. Zahurul learned from witnesses from the area that in the instruction and presence of Nizami, the Pakistani Occupation Force gathered and killed them by indiscriminate firing. Zahurul stated that among the corpses, he identified Abdur Jobbar, Azgor Ali, Muksed Ali, Idris Ali, Aken Ali, Molom Pramanik, Kolom Pramanik, Waez Uddin, Sree Bolram Das, Upendra Nath, Jethendro Nath and 50 or 60 others.
The Prosecution submitted that the testimonies of these three Prosecution Witnesses corroborated each other and confirmed Nizami’s presence. He further submitted that the charge was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Charge no 3
It is alleged that from the beginning of May 1971, Nizami as a leader of Islami Chhatra Shangho along with other leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami regularly visited the Physical Training Institute, Mohammadpur, which was a training center for various auxiliary forces including Razakars and Al-Badr. It is alleged that the Physical Training Institute, Mohammadpur, was a detention camp and torture center where practical arrangements were made to eliminate victims. Nizami allegedly visited the Physical Training Institute as leader of Islami Chhatra Shangho and Al-Badr Bahini and conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) of the ICT Act 1973 and complicit in torture, murder and rape as crimes against humanity specified in section 3(2)(a), 3(2)(h), 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of this charge, the Prosecution relied on the testimonies of Prosecution Witness 2 and Prosecution Witness 3, Zahir Uddin Jalal and Rustom Ali Mollah respectively.
Rustom Ali Mollah, Prosecution Witness 3, testified that during the Liberation War he resided in the Muhammadpur Physical Training College staff quarter with his father, where his father was a clerk and Security guard. He stated that the Panjabi army set up camp at the Physical Training College on 26 March 1971 and brought more than 150 EPR members from Pilkhana and kept them captive. That same day, the Pakistani army also allegedly brought some intellectuals, artists, doctors and others to the camp. Rustom testified that the persons who were brought to this camp were tortured to death.
Rustom testified that 4 to 5 months after this camp Razakar was set up, Al-Badr transformed it into a training centre,where he saw Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ghulam Azam and Mujaheed go. The Razakars on duty at the gate told him that they were their leaders. Rustom added that that was the first day he saw and came to know about them. He said that he heard from others that these three persons would come to the training centre but he himself did not see them again. Rustom said that on that day, after entering into the centre, they went to the office of colonel, where they stayed for 1-1.5 hours. Rustom testified that he also heard that these three persons would come to this training centre and talk with the Razakars and Al-Badrs.
Rustom further testified that about 10 days before the independence, the Panjabi army and Razakars, Al-Badrs brought some Bengali girls, some Bengali army, some freedom fighters—which made up around 200 to 250 persons—into the training camp and tortured them by hanging them upside-down. They broke their hands and legs, later killed them in the dining hall, and dumped their bodies in the Rayerbazar mass graveyard.
Zahir Uddin Jalal, Prosecution Witness 2, testified that, as a member of the Shajib group, he had to keep eyes on Mohammad Physical Training Institute—the headquarter of Al-Badr. He stated that in that headquarter, the Gholam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami, and Ali Ahsan Mujahid gang would meet with the Pakistan Army, and the Pakistan Army would train Al-Badr members. In training, Al-Badr members following the direction of Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mujahid would bring supporters of freedom fighters between the ages of 15 and 25, such as doctors, writers, intellectuals, journalists and people of different professions, to the Mohammad Physical Training Institute and tortured them in the gymnasium, dormitory and office room. He testified that Rustom Ali used to provide information to their Keraniganj camp. He also added that from December 7 to 14 the number of disappeared people increased. At the time, Jalal was informed that Al-Badr commander Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mujahid and their accomplices wearing black masks were taking blindfolded freedom fighter supporters to the Mohammad Physical Training Institute. Jalal testified that after the country was liberated on 17 December, he got 9 heads in the Mohammad Al-Badr headquarter. Thereafter he went to Rayerbazar and found some bullet riddled and blindfolded dead bodies. He testified that he came to know that, following the instructions of Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mujahid, Al-Badr brought these persons from Mohammad Physical Training Institute, shot them and left their corpses.
Charge no 4
It is alleged that Nizami, along with a group of Razakars, went to the village of Karamja and reminded the villagers that they would face consequences for not voting for Nizami in the last election. It is alleged that on 24 or 25 April 1971—under Nizami’s planning—he and local Razakar Afzal, with the help of other Razakars, killed Habibur Rahman at the bus stand for helping freedom fighters. It is further alleged that, following the plan of Nizami on 8 May 1971, members of his Al-Badr force, Rafikunnabi Bablu along with Razakars and the Pakistani military force surrounded the house of Megha Thakur and killed ten named persons in a queue. Tara Halder was injured, but managed to escape. It is alleged that members of Pakistani military forces with the help of Razakars Asad, Muslem and Afzal, raped Shebani, daughter of Megha Thakur, son’s wife and two other Muslim women; they also allegedly looted the house of Megha Thakur and set fire to the house of Wahed Pramanik. The charge stated that through all of these acts, Nizami conspired to commit crimes under section 3(2)(g) and is complicit in murders, rapes, looting and the destruction of properties, which are described as crimes against humanity as specified in section 3(2)(a), 3(2)(h). Nizami also charged under section 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of charge no 4, the Prosecution relied on the testimonies of Prosecution Witness 5, Nazim Uddin Khattab; Prosecution Witness 17, Jamal Uddin; and Prosecution Witness 19, Abu Shama Fakir. In support of this charge, the Prosecution produced another witness Prodip Kumar Dev, Prosecution Witness 7; however the Prosecution declared him as hostile.
Nazim Uddin Khattab, Prosecution Witness 5, testified that around 10 am on 25 April 1971, he saw Motiur Rahman Nizami with Rafikun Nabi Bablu, Asad, Afzal, Moslem, Shukur and Siraj doctor attend a meeting in their Union Board Office. He testified that after half an hour, the meeting concluded; they all came out, and Rofikun Nobi Bablu began hurling abuse at the others. Khattab alleged that Rofikun hurled abuse at them for voting in favor of Boat (symbol of Awami League) in 1970 and for supporting Awami League. He further testified that Nizami told them that if they left the village, they would assume that they went to join the freedom fighters and their family members will be killed; if they did not leave the village, they would not be harmed.
Khattab testified that around 8 am on 28 April 1971, following the order of Motiur Rahman Nizami, Afzal along with members of the Pakistani army and Razakars captured his maternal uncle Habibur Rahman Sardar and his fellow Akkas near the C & B bus stand and shot them to death. He testified that Sama Fakir (Prosecution Witness 19) and other dwellers in the area witnessed the incident and informed his grandfather’s family about it. He testified that he also learned about the incident from others and ran towards the C&B bus stand. He testified that he saw the corpses of his uncle and Akkas there. Khattab testified that they brought his uncle’s corpse to his grandfather’s house and went into hiding.
Khattab testified that on the night of 8 May 1971, Zamidar’s son Probon Bhattacharya and his nephew Dulal slept with him; during the Fazar Azan (just before the sun rise), they heard crying and shouting and went towards the Zamidar Bari. He testified that there he saw Probon Bhattacharya’s mother standing without any clothes and shouting. He testified that at that time, Rofikun Nabi Bublu (Al-Badr commander of three police stations), Asad, Afzal, Moslem and members of the Pakistani army were seen beside her. Khattab testified that he came back to his home and asked his family members to flee. He then heard the sound of firing and went to the spot again with Probon and Dulal and found Tara Halder bloody and injured. He testified that Tara Halder told him that following the order of Motiur Rahman Nizami, Rofikun Nabi Bublu, Asad, Afzal, Moslem and members of the Pakistani army surrounded the area and Sosti Halder, Adu, Kartik, Santi Halder, Zamidar Shoilendronath Bhattacharya, Dijendranath Bhattacharya, Karu Thakur, Morali Chandra Das, Suresh Chandra Halder including him were directed to stand in a queue in front of the Zamidar’s worship room and they killed them by firing. Tara also told him that they also used bayonets to kill them, and she miraculously survived. He further testified that Shoilendronath Bhattacharya’s daughter Shibani, his daughter-in-law and one other housewife were raped on this day. He testified that after that incident, Probon and Dulal left the country with their family for India. He testified that 8 of these corpses were buried in a single place, and that a single corpse was buried in another place because the people present raised objections due to his low class. He testified that on 7 December 2000, they recovered the bones of the dead people who were buried there in the presence of the police, Muktijuddha Commander (commander of the freedom fighters) and local people. The Prosecution submitted that the Defense during cross-examination failed to shake the credibility of this witness. They further submitted that the testimony of Khattab confirmed the presence of Nizami and his accomplices.
Jamal Uddin, Prosecution Witness 17, testified that in December 2000, with the help of local administration led by then minister Professor Abu Sayed, some human bones and skulls were recovered by digging a hole beside the house of Megha Thakur. Jamal testified that from people who were there that he met in May 1971 after the Fazr prayer, members of the Pakistani Army and local Razakars led by Motiur Rahman Nizami surrounded the home of Megha Thakur, killed nine unarmed people and raped the daughter of Megha Thakur as well as the daughter-in-law of Megha Thakur. The Prosecution submitted that the testimony of Prosecution Witness 17 corroborated the testimony of Prosecution Witness 5, Nazim Uddin Khattab.
Abu Sama Fakir, Prosecution Witness 19, testified that on 28 April 1971, after discussing with UPR Nazrul, Ansar Shokur Ali and Joinal when he was returning by the east side of Karamja Nishipara Kalibari at 9 or 10 am, he saw an army motor vehicle coming from the east side towards Sathia. Fakir testified that he hid himself in a bush beside Sathia Road. He testified that from the bush he saw Nizami sitting beside the army officer. He further testified that he saw some Bengalis sitting with the army in the back of the motor vehicle. He further testified that he saw Habibur Rahman and Akkas going from west to east and noticing the presence of the army motor vehicle, they (Habibur Rahman and Akkas) ran towards a tree. The witness testified that the vehicle stopped beside the tree; Nizami allegedly said something by gesture, and two members of the army shot and killed Habibur and Akkas, who were trying to hide themselves behind the tree.
Abu Sama Fakir, testified that on 8 May 1971 after Fazar prayer, he heard the sound of firing coming from Koromja Village and, feeling frightened, he hid himself behind a bamboo bush. The witness testified that after one hour the firing stopped, and the witness started for Koromja village. The witness testified that when he reached Koromja, he found the bullet-riddled and bloody Megha Thakur, Diju Thakur, Koru Thakur, Josthi Haldar, Kartik Haldar, Shanta Haldar, Murali Mali and Fatik Chad—in total nine people. He testified that Murali Mali, Megha Thakur and Fakir Chad were buried in three different places. He further testified that he found the houses burned and heard that the daughter and daughter-in-law of Megha Thakur had been raped by Army and Razakars. He further testified that he learned from Ansar Ali, Shofiz and others, who were gathered there, that Motiur Rahman Nizami, Rofikunnabi Bablu, Afzal, Asad, Shokur Khan show the way to Pakistani Army. The Prosecution submitted that the testimonies of Prosecution Witness 5, Nazim Uddin Khattab; Prosecution Witness 17, Jamal Uddin and Prosecution Witness 19, Abu Sama Fakir corroborated each other.
The Prosecution did not press charge no 5.
Charge no 6
It is alleged that on 27 November 1971 at 3:30 am, Nizami along with Razakars and members of Pakistani military forces raided the house of Dr Abdul Awal and adjacent houses of Dhulaura to find freedom fighters. The charge states that at about 6:30 am, Nizami along with his accomplice Razakars and members of the Pakistani military caught a number of men, women, and children, brought them to the field of Dhulaura school and killed 30 persons by indiscriminate firing. Twenty-two persons were taken to the bank of the Ishamoti River, bayoneted, and killed. Nizami is charged for his involvement and responsibility for murder which is described as crimes against humanity specified in section 3(2)(a), 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of this charge 6, the Prosecution relied on the testimonies of Prosecution Witness 6, Shahjahan Ali; Prosecution Witness 8, Khalilur Rahman and Prosecution Witness 17, Jamal Uddin.
Shahajahan Ali, Prosecution Witness 6, a war-wounded freedom fighter testified that he is receiving 10,000 taka per month as freedom fighter’s allowance. He testified that a fight had taken place between the freedom fighters and the Pakistani army on 28 November 1971, and at midnight, the Pakistani army caught him and the other freedom fighters. He further testified that Sattar Razakar took him and seven other freedom fighters to the riverbank by Motiur Rahman Nizami’s order. He testified that in the presence of Motiur Rahman Nizami, they (not specifying who) charged with bayonets and slit his (Shahajahan’s) throat. Shahajahan testified that the other freedom fighters taken with him were charged at with bayonets and killed. Locals then took Shahajahan to Ranjit Sharkar’s house at Fulbari and then to the Pabna Hospital, where he received treatment for a month. Shahajan testified that after one month, he was moved to the Dhaka Medical Hospital where he received treatment for 4 years. He testified that more than 300 or 400 people died in that fight in Dhulaura.
Khalilur Rahman, Prosecution Witness 8, testified that in the middle of June, he left for India to receive training. He testified that he entered into Bangladesh and came to Sujanagar of Pabna, where he stayed for 2 or 3 days, and then took shelter at the house of Dr. Abdul Awal in Dhulaura village under the Sathia police station at 12 or 12:30 of 27 November 1971. Khalilur testified that at about 3:30 am, hearing the sounds of army boots, he opened the window and saw Nizami, other Razakars, and members of the Pakistani occupation force coming toward their house. He then he opened a door facing north and exited the house. He testified that he then heard the sounds of firing and movement and also someone yelling ‘hands up.’ Khalilur testified that he then rode into a banyan tree with the intention of hiding himself. He testified that there was moonlight that night. Khalilur testified that just before sunrise he noticed some women beneath the banyan tree and saw some Razakars snatching their ornaments. He testified that he had also seen members of the Pakistan occupation force entering a house with two young ladies. He testified that he heard the screaming coming from the house, and he understood that they were being raped.
Khalilur testified that from the tree, he also noticed that Nizami asked someone to take away males and had seen males being taken toward the primary school on the south side. Khalilur stated that the Ishamoti River is beside the school field and the field is beside the Primary School. Khalilur then testified that he left the tree between 9 and 9:30 am and heard from others that military had left the area. Khalil added that then he went to the bank of the Ishamoti River and took the corpses of villagers—including his 4 associates—and also took 2 of his associates who were injured. He testified that one of them was Shahajahan (PW-6), whose throat was slit, and another was Mazed, who was charged by a bayonet. Khalilur answered that he knew Nizami before the Liberation War since his house was just 1 kilometer away from the witness’s, and Nizami was also the secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho (the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami).
Jamal Uddin, Prosecution Witness 17, testified that on 27 November 1971, three or four groups of freedom fighters took possession of Dhulaura village. Being informed at 2:30 or 3 am, Pakistani Army, Razakar and Al-Badr led by Motiur Rahman Nizami raided the village and killed 9 freedom fighters and 14 unarmed people by firing and setting houses on fire. He testified that among the freedom fighters, one named Sahjahan Ali survived; Sattar Razakar had slit his throat by Nizami’s instruction. Jamal testified that he came to know about the incident from Nizam Uddin, Abdul Latif, Lokman Hossain, and the then headmaster Romiz Uddin.
Charge no 7
It is alleged that on 3 December 1971 after midnight, on receiving information from Nizami and the Razakars, the Pakistani Army surrounded the village Brishalikha, caught Sohrab Ali from his house at 5:30 am, took him to the road, and tortured and killed him there. It is alleged that Sohrab Ali was asked questions about the whereabouts of his son Mohammad Abdul Latif Selim, and after failing to extract information, the Pakistani Army shot him in front of his wife and children. It is alleged that Nizami is complicit in torture and murder which are crimes against humanity as specified section 3(2)(a), 3(2)(h) and under section 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of charge no 7, the Prosecution relied on the testimonies of Prosecution Witness 22, Sahjahan Ali and Prosecution Witness 16, Jane Alam alias Janu.
Sahjahan Ali, Prosecution Witness 22, testified that on 2 December 1971, his uncle Sohrab Ali returned from India. He testified that in the early morning of 3 December 1971, he woke up from a sound. He opened the door and saw Rafikun Nabi Bablu, Asad, and four or five member of Razakar and Al-Badr. After breaking the door of his uncle’s house, they dragged his uncle to the muddy road. Sahjahan Ali testified that he, his aunt, and other family members went towards the muddy road. Sahjahan Ali testified that his uncle was then taken towards the west side of their house. Keeping their family members waiting there, Sahjahan followed his uncle. He testified that he hid behind a bamboo bush and saw Nizami with the Pakistani Army, Razakar and Al-Badr. Sahjahan Ali testified that it seemed to him that, by the instruction of Nizami, Razakar and Al-Badr took his uncle. Sahjahan testified that the Pakistani Army asked his uncle something and his uncle replied in the negative by moving his hands. Receiving such an answer, the Pakistan Army started to beat his uncle by the butt of their rifles. Sahjahan Ali testified that in this stage, Nizami asked the Pakistani Army something, pointed toward his uncle, and one member of the Pakistani Army shot his uncle two or three times and his uncle fell. He testified that after five or six minutes of firing the Pakistan Army followed Nizami and left the site towards the Hindu area located north of the intersection. Sahjahan Ali testified that after a few minutes, he came out of the bamboo bush, went to his uncle, hugged him and discovered that he was no more. He testified that he became speechless and sat there for 10 to 15 minutes. He added that he then saw smoke in the sky and noticed fire in the houses of Hindu para. He testified that he left the spot where his uncle had been killed. He returned to their house and then went to the site with five or six youths of about twelve and thirteen years old to bring the corpse of his uncle back to their home. He testified before this incident, he had seen Nizami in the election campaign of 1970. He testified that he heard Nizami’s speech, before which he was described as the President of Islami Chhatra Shangho.
Jane Alam alias Janu, Prosecution Witness 16, testified that his group set camp at Dugli village of Sahjadpur. He testified that on 2 December 1971 at 10 pm, Sohrab came to the camp and welcomed him to visit their village. Janu testified that on that night, he went to their village and met with the people, and at about 1 or 1:30 am, he went to his house and stay there. On 3 December 1971, at night when his parents went outside to feed their cattle, they noticed the movement of Razakars, Al-Badr and the Pakistani Army on the road. Janu testified that his father told him to flee. Janu testified that he left his bed and reached their camp by crossing the Hurasagor River. He added that in the early morning he saw many people from his village that had also crossed the river and took shelter. Janu testified that at 12 or 12:30 pm, after Razakars and the Pakistani Army left their village, he and others returned to his village and heard that Sohrab had been charged at with a bayonet and shot at. He testified that Sorab, Josthi, Vadu, Monu, Profulla, Pintu, and many more were killed in that incident and around 70 houses were set on fire. He testified that noticing them, villagers gathered in front of the primary school and he learned from them that by the order of Motiur Rahman Nizami, the secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho, local Razakars, Al-Badr and the Pakistani Army led by Rofikunnabi alias Bablu, Razakar commander of Sathia police station, committed the killings, arson attacks and looting in their village.
Charge no 8
It is alleged that on 30 August 1971, Nizami, as President of Islami Chhatra Shangho and head of the Al-Badr Bahini, accompanied by Ali Ahsan Mujahid, Secretary of the East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Shangha, visited the Army Camp at Old MP Hostel in Dhaka, where Nizami verbally abused and detained Jalal, Bodi, Rumi, Jewel and Azad. It is alleged that Nizami told the Pakistani Captain to kill all of them before the President declared the general amnesty and subsequently all except one were killed due to Nizami’s influence. It is alleged that Nizami committed the crime of murder which is a crime against humanity specified in section 3(2)(a) and charged under 3(2)(a) along with 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of this charge the Prosecution relied on the testimony of Prosecution Witness 2, Zahir Uddin Jalal, and Exhibit 37, Ekattorer Dinguli written by Jahanara Imam.
Zahir Uddin Jalal, Prosecution Witness 2, testified that on 30 August 1971, he went to 19 New Eskaton to collect information about a meeting between Razakars, Al-Badr and the Pakistani Army at 4 pm. Jalal testified that the Razakars caught him and handed him over to the Pakistani Army. Jalal testified that he was detained in MP hostel of Nakhalpara. He testified that at 7 pm he found eight to ten injured detainees in his room and recognized some of them as Bodi, Rumi (son of Jahanara Imam), Asad, and Jweal. Jalal testified that they all received training together in India. Jalal further testified that he learned from Jweal that Al-Badr commander Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, Chowdhury Moin Uddin, and Al-Badr Ashraf tortured them and asked other Al-Badr to torture them. Jalal stated that Jweal also told him that Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Nizami, Chowdhury Moin Uddin and the Ashraf gang would kill them within one or two days.
Jalal testified that while he was speaking with Jweal, Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, Chowdhury Moin Uddin and Ashraf entered the room of Captain Kaium and a habilder took him to that room. He testified they wrote down his name, address and signature on a white paper. He added that Nizami tortured him with his five-star pistol. He testified that Motiur Rahman Nizami and Mujahid were discussing killing them before the general clemency of the President on 5 September.
Charge no 9
It is alleged that on 3 December 1971, on information supplied by Nizami, Razakars and Pakistany Army surrounded the village Bishalikha and killed Profulla, Vadu, Manu, Sosthi Pramanik, Gyanendranath Hawlader and Paltu—in total 70 Hindus set fire on 72 houses. It is alleged that Nizami committed the crime of genocide as specified 3(2)( c)(i) and 3(2)(a) along with section 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of this charge the Prosecution relied on the testimonies of Prosecution Witness 22, Sahjahan Ali; Abdus Salim Latif, Prosecution Witness 14; Aminul Islam Dablu, Prosecution Witness 15; and Jane Alam alias Janu, Prosecution Witness 16.
Sahjahan Ali testified that one of his aunties resided at Hindu para. He testified that when the sounds of firing stopped, he saw Nizami, the Pakistani Army, Razakars, and Al-Badr at a field located south and they were going towards the east. He testified that then he went to his aunt’s house. He testified that he found some burned houses and seven or eight corpses of unarmed civilians in the road of Hindu para. Sahjahan testified that he saw four or five Muslim men standing in a Hindu house and went there. He found three or four women almost naked, and when Muslim men asked them what happened, they replied that in the presence of Nizami, the Pakistani Army, Razakars and Al-Badr burned the houses of Hindus, killed seven or eight Hindu men, and raped them. He testified that he then left that spot for his aunt’s house and returned to their home. Before this incident, he had seen Nizami in the election campaign of 1970. He testified that he heard the speech of Nizami, before which Nizami was described as the President of Islami Chhatra Shangho.
Abdus Salim Latif, Prosecution Witness 14, testified that on 2 December 1971, his father returned to their home. He stated that the local Al-Badr members informed Al-Badr chief of staff Motiur Rahman Nizami about his fathers’ return. Latif testified that in the early morning of 3 December 1971, Al-Badr, Razakar, and the Pakistani Army together raided the Brishalikha village. He testified that the houses of the village were set ablaze, and his father Sohrab Ali Pramanik was shot and killed. Latif testified that he heard about this incident from his mother, Ajgor Ali Munshi, Ahed Ali Pramanik, Sahjahan Ali and many more. Latif further testified that he also heard that by the order of Nizami, Al-Badr, Razakars and the Pakistani Army killed his father after he was tortured. Latif added that other than his father, Manu, Sosthi Pramanik, Bodu Pramanik, Gyanendranath Hawlader, and many more unarmed villagers were killed.
Aminul Islam Dablu, Prosecution Witness 15, testified that he heard that on 2 December 1971, when his father came from India after being informed the local Razakars, Al-Badr members informed Motiur Rahman Nizami and they raided their house on 3 December 1971, drag out his father from the house, after being tortured shot him on the road. He further testified that Monu, Josthi Pramanik, Bodu Pramanik, Ganandra Nath Hawlader many more unarmed villagers were also killed and 70 to 75 houses were set ablaze.
Jane Alam alias Janu, Prosecution Witness 16, testified that on 3 December 1971 at 12 or 12:30 pm after Razakars and Pakistani Army left their village he and others returned to his village and heard that Sohrab was bayonet charged and shot. He testified that Sorab, Josthi, Vadu, Monu, Profulla, Pintu and many more was killed on that incident and 70 /72 houses were set on fire. He testified that noticing them villagers gathered in front of the primary school and from them he came to know that in the order of Motiur Rahman Nizami, the secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho local Razakars, Al-Badr and Pakistani Army led by Rofikunnabi alias Bablu, Razakar commander of Sathia police station, committed the killing, arson attacks and looting in their village. The Prosecution submitted that the testimony of Prosecution Witness 22, Sahjahan Ali corroborated by the testimonies of Abdus Salim Latif, Prosecution Witness 14; Aminul Islam Dablu, Prosecution Witness 15 and Jane Alam alias Janu, Prosecution Witness 16.
Charge no 10
It is alleged that after the beginning of the Liberation War, Onil Chandra Kundu along with his parents, brothers, and sisters left the country and went to India as a refugee for safety. In August, he came back to his village Sonatala, Sathia, and hearing this by the direction of Nizami the local Razakars destroyed their house and many others. It is alleged 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.
In support of this charge, the Prosecution relied on the testimony of Ratindra Nath Kunda, Prosecution Witness 12. In support of this charge, the Prosecution also relied on the witness statement of Shomor Chandra Kunda.
Ratindra testified that in 1985 he visited his brother-in-law, Onil Chandra Kundu, at his house located at Nilphomari with his wife. During this visit, Onil shared some incidents of his life. Onil informed him that in 1971, he was the SSC examinee, and after the beginning of the Liberation War, he went to India with his friends for training. Onil and his friends took their training for 3 or 4 months and then returned to Bangladesh and joined the Liberation War under sector 7. Onil told him that due to the cruelty of Nazime Ala, the Secretary of Islami Chhatra Shangho, and Al-Badr founder Motiur Rahman Nizami, his parents were forced to leave for India. Onil further told him that due to his joining the Liberation War, in May, following the order of the Nizami, a group of Razakars led by his nephew looted the house of Onil and set it on fire.
Charge no 15
It is alleged that during the Liberation War, Nizami frequently visited the Razakar camp at Sathia Pailot High School and conspired with Razakar commander Samad Miah at his office to commit crimes. As a result of such conspiracies, the Razakars committed different crimes in the locality and Nizami is charged for conspiracy to commit crimes specified in section 3(2)(g) and for complicity in crimes committed under section 3(2)(h) along with section 4(1) and section 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of this charge, the Prosecution relied on the testimony of Tofazzal Hossain, Prosecution Witness 10.
Tofazzal Hossain testified that Nizami was his classmate in Boalmari Madrassa. Tofazzal testified that he was a teacher of Sathia Pailot High School since 1965 and during the Liberation War he was the teacher at the same school. In the middle of May, Sathia Pilot School closed because Razakars wished to set up camp. He testified that in the middle of May, Razakar camp was inaugurated and he had seen Nizami, Moulana Abdus Sobhan, Moulana Ishaq and 100 to 150 Razakars there. He specifically mentioned that he had seen them from a distance. He testified that from those who attended the meeting, he learned that in the meeting it was decided to kill people who would join the Liberation War. It was also decided to motivate the youth to join Razakar.
Tofazzal testified that, in September 1971, Razakars started to attack unarmed civilians. He testified that Razakars held two persons from Shonatola village and killed them beside the road of Daulatpur village. He further testified that Razakars detained some unarmed civilians in Sathia Pailot High School camp and Army camp of Nagor Bari. He testified that among those detainees, some went missing, one of which was Kalu, the physical instructor of Edward College.
Tofazzal testified that on 17 November, freedom fighters led by Mukul attacked the Sathia Pilot High School Razakars camp and killed 26 or 27 Razakars and detained 14. He testified that on 7 December, when freedom fighters were gathered for a meeting on the premises of the police station, which is beside the Pilot School camp, they were attacked and at that time they (the freedom fighters) were without arms. He testified that in that attack he was hit with a bullet in his left eye and became unconscious. He further testified that the followers of Nizami, Abdus Sobhan, and Ishaq attacked a local Hindu community, looted their houses, and the Shunil Joardar’s wife was raped in front of him. He testified that after the rape incident, Shunil Joarder’s wife committed suicide for shame.
Charge no 16
It is alleged that when the defeat of Pakistan occupation and auxiliary forces was imminent, Nizami, who was President of Islami Chhatra Shangho and head of an auxiliary force Al-Badr, mounted Gestapo-like attacks to destroy Bangladesh professionals and intellectuals amongst others, and launched mortal blows toward free and independent Bangladesh by selective elimination of respected professionals and intellectuals. It is alleged that attacks were largely carried out on or around 14 December 1971 and Nizami committed the crimes of genocide as specified in section 3(2)(c )(i) along with 4(1) and 4(2) of the ICT Act 1973.
In support of this charge the Prosecution relied on the testimonies of Shamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, Prosecution Witness 13 and Sayeeda Salma Mahmud, Prosecution Witness 23.
Shamoli Nasrin Chowdhury testified that she was married to Dr Abdul Alim Chowdhury on 21 December 1965. Shamoli testified that in 1971, she resided at 29/1 Purana Palton, Dhaka with her husband, daughters and parents. Shamoli testified that during the Liberation War, her husband Alim was working at Sir Sallimullah Medical College and he had a chamber on the ground floor of their rented house at 29/1 Purana Palton.
Shamoli testified that at 4:30 on 15 December, while she and her husband were watching the one-sided bombing of the Indian Air Force from their verandas, they felt happy hoping that the Pakistani occupation force was going to surrender to the allied force. Shamoli testified that at that time, they heard the sound of a microbus and saw a microbus covered with mud stopped in front of the Mannan’s gate. Shamoli testified that after 30 minutes they heard sounds outside their gate and saw 2 or 3 Al-Badr with arms asked them to open the door. Shamoli testified that she became frightened and asked her husband what to do. Her husband asked their two assistants Hakim and Momin to open the gate and her husband went to the ground floor to talk with Mannan, who took shelter there. Mannan asked Alim to go with Al-Badr and tell him not to be frightened. Hearing this, Alim tried to go to the first floor again but was unable because the Al-Badr had already entered the ground floor and asked Alim to put his hands up. Shamoli testified that Alim asked them the reasoning behind their coming, and they replied that this was an order from Al-Badr high command Motiur Rahman Nizami.
Shamoli testified that on 16 December 1971 at 11am, two freedom fighters, Kabir and another one who was the son of journalist Salam, came to their house and they started to search for her husband. By 17 December, they confirmed that those who were taken by Al-Badr were no longer alive. Shamoli testified that on the morning of 18 December 1971, Shamoli’s brother-in-law Hafiz Chowdhury, Hakim, Momin and other relatives went to the Rayer Bazar and took the corpses of Alim, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Ladu, journalist Selina Pervin and many more. She testified that when the corpse of her husband was taken to their place, she found his hands bound at his back and blindfolded; his whole body had been charged by bayonets and his chest was bullet riddled. Shamoli further testified that later on he learned that someone named Delwar, who had not been hit by any bullets and survived from the Rayer Bazar killing, wrote that intellectuals such as doctors, engineers, and writers were taken to the Mohammadpur Physical Institute and tortured there and then taken to the Rayer Bazar in the early morning to be killed by firing.
Sayeda Salma Mahmud, Prosecution Witness 23, testified that on 15 February 1970, she was married to Dr Azharul Huq. She testified that on June 1969, her husband joined as assistant surgeon at Dhaka Medical College and held that post during the Liberation War. The witness testified that after the marriage she started to live with her husband at 22 Free Street road of Hatirpul, Dhaka. Salma testified that during the Liberation War, her husband used to do private practice at a pharmacy named Saida Pharmacy and gave treatment to the injured freedom fighters and sometimes visited the freedom fighters camp to provide treatments. She testified that there was another pharmacy called Ali Pharmacy opposite to Saida Pharmacy and the owner of that pharmacy was a Bihari. She testified that they suspect that Bihari Ali used to keep eyes on the movements of her husband and provided that information to the Pakistani Army.
Salma testified that on 15 February 1971 (later on said that on 15 November) at 6 am, their maid-servant Sahadat went for nearby laundry to collect her husband’s apron because he had duty at the hospital, but Sahadat came back empty-handed and said that some Pakistani Army members and armed Bengalis cordoned the place. She testified that the whole area of Hatirpul, Central road, and Vuter goli were cordoned. She testified that her husband went to the house of their landlord so that he could phone the hospital to send an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Salma testified that she was waiting in the veranda and Momtaz, Dr Humayon Kabir’s sister, asked her whether her husband had already left for the hospital. She replied that he went to make a call so that an ambulance was sent from hospital to take him. She testified that after that, Dr Humayon Kabir and Dr Azharul Haq waited outside for an ambulance. She testified that he asked Sahadat to call both of them. She testified that Sahadat informed her that the Pakistani Army and uniformed armed Bengalis were talking with them and pointed their arms at them. She testified that she again asked Sahadat to call them and went towards the gate. She testified that when she ran for the gate, she saw some of the soldiers hitting them by the butt of their rifles and taking them towards the road by gunpoint. She shouted and tried to go toward her husband, but some of the armed Bengalis pointed their guns at her and asked her to go inside the house. She testified that armed Bengalis asked her who used to come to her husband, where he used to go, etc. She asked them who they were and where her husband had been taken. Salma testified that in reply, they informed her that they were members of Al-Badr and their High command Motiur Rahman Nizami instructed them to take her husband Dr Azharul Huq and Dr Humayon Kabir. She testified that they searched her bedroom and left the house.
Salma testified that on 16 November 1971, Dr Kamruzzaman and Bobi came to her brother’s house located at Paribag and informed her that the boss of her husband, Dr Shamsuddin, identified the corpses of her husband and Dr Humayon Kabir at the morgue of Dhaka Medical College and asked the family members of the deceased to identify the corpses. She was further informed that the corpses of her husband and Dr Humayon Kabir were found under the culvert located near the Notre Dame College. At the time of the recovering, their hands and legs were tied and they were blindfolded with several marks of wounds found on their bodies. She testified that the corpse of her husband had been taken to the house of Paribag and buried at Azimpur graveyard. She testified that Motiur Rahman Nizami, Chowdhury Moinuddin, Ashrafuzzaman, Mujahid and Golam Azam killed the intellectuals in a planned way.