Despite being the final day of a 60-hour nationwide Hartal, ICT-1 proceeded to hear matters in the following case:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf
It was the third day and last day of the continuous 60-hour countrywide hartal that began at 6:00 am on 4 November 2013, and was enforced by the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance. Nonetheless, the Tribunal recorded testimony today from PW-3 in the case against AKM Yusuf. Mr. Shamsul Alam alias Jahangir, who now 53 years old, gave testimony as PW-3. He is the son of Dr. Abdul Majid, who was a physician by profession and also participated in organizing of the War of Liberation. The testimony of the witness mainly related to Charge 12, pertaining to the killing of Dr. Majid, but the testimony also supported Charges 1 and 3.
The witness stated that he was a student of Class 10 in 1971, and received training as a freedom fighter in order to participate in the war after proclamation of Bangladesh’s independence on 26 March 1971. He testified that the Accused, Yusuf, had named the Razakar force and subsequently established Razakar camps in various areas of Bagherhat, including Baraikhali Union. In these camps, they began to torture pro-Awami League men, freedom fighters and Hindus.
Asked for details about his father, the witness stated that Dr. Majid had been good in oratory skills, and was an organizer of the Liberation War. The witness recounted how his father was taken forcibly from their home by AKM Yusuf, and brought to Morolganj Bazar Jame Masjid, where he was pressured to provide help to Peace Committee and Razakar men. In defiance, Dr. Majid continued to advance cooperation and treatment to pro-liberation people and freedom fighters. Upon learning of this, the witness testified, Yusuf ordered the killing of his father for non-compliance with his instruction. On 26 July 1971, at around 5:00 pm, seven to eight Rajakar men visited their home upon Yusuf’s instruction. They forcefully took the witness’ father to the nearby Morolganj Launch Terminal and shot him in near river Panguchi. The witness stated that he and his mother followed the Razakar men in order to facilitate the release of his father, but two Razakar men, named Salam and Alim hit his mother. They subsequently recovered the body of his father from the water and buried him in their home.
The witness provided further incriminating testimony about other incidents, including one on 17 May 1971, when the witness claimed that Yusuf, accompanied by some Razakar and Bihari men, arrived at Morolganj Bazar, and ordered his forces to wipe out the Hindu community along with pro-liberation forces. Acting upon his instruction, the Razakar men looted near about 300 to 400 shops and houses and set fire to 20 to 22 Hindu houses. Two days later, on 19 May 1971, the witness himself was also apprehended by Razakar men and taken to the Razakar camp in Moralganj Bazar. He testified that he was brutally tortured, but subsequently released at around 1:30 pm after he promised that he would supply information to Razakar men and would not work for freedom fighters.
The witness testified that he subsequently hear second-hand, that several others were also picked up by the Rajakar forces in similar fashion on the same day. Other victims reportedly included Sanjit Das, Shanti Das, Barun Das, Keshob Chandra Das, Amar and Pijush Kanti Gharai. Several were killed by Razakar men at Morolganj Launch Terminal, upon the instruction of Yusuf. Amar and Pijush managed to survive, however, according to the witness.