20 November 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – AKM Yusuf, PW-8 and PW-9

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following case:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. AKM Yusuf

Continuing from where proceedings left off 18 December 2013, ICT-2 completed recording the cross-examination of PW-8 in the case against AKM Yusuf. It then recorded the examination-in-chief of PW-9 and adjourned the case until 24 November 2013. 

PW-9 Examination-in-Chief

The witness stated that he was a Chatra League (student wing of Awami League) leader. After the historic call to independence by the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikhh Mujibur Rahman on 26 March 1971, he received one month training for participation in liberation war along with Awami League and Jubo League men. After receiving the training, they set up a student camp at Tetulbunia region close to the Sundarbans Forest, where he served as a quartermaster.

The witness told the tribunal that Yusuf was the Chairman of Peace Committee in greater Khulna area during the war period. Yusef formed the Rajakar forces, that were composed of members of Jamaat and the Mulsim League. He also provided them with the necessary training, arms and ammunitions.

The witness testfied that he along with 20 to 25 freedom fighters, under the leadership of Captain Anwar, took position near Rayenda Bazar Razakar camp on 6 June 1971, after the Rajakar forces increasingly committed looting and arson in the locality. However, their whereabouts had been leaked and Yusuf arrived at the area with 20 to 25 Rajakar members on 7 June, around 3 am. Soon after, they started firing, forcing the freedom fighters to retreat. The fight lasted around two hours. The following day, around 10 am, Yusuf along with 10 to 15 Rajakars found and captured Captain Anwar, Asmat and Ismail. They were brought in front of the gate of the local school whereby they were brutally tortured. Yusuf then ordered his men to execute the men. The witness stated that he saw the incident from a nearby garden where he was hiding. The dead bodies were buried near the school pond.

The witness further testified that Yusuf reached Tafalbari, accompanied by 40 Rajakars, to launch to an attack on the marketplace. They captured Joynal Fakir and another person named Basarat. Yusuf hit Joynal with the rifle butt. The two were then taken near the Bolesshor River and shot dead, an act ordered by AKM Yusuf. The witness explained he saw the entire incident while hiding inside the Tafalbari High School building.

On 29 July, Yusuf came to a meeting in Rayenda Bazar. Salam, who worked for the freedom fighters as an informer, was sent to that meeting to collect information. However, he was captured by the Rajakar forces, after which he was tortured and killed by the side of the Bolesshor River. The witness said that this was ordered by the accused, Yusuf. He claimed to have seen the incident from a house near the river