• Friday, November 28, 2014

War Crimes Suspects

Bagerhat trio to face 8 charges

Staff Correspondent

The Investigation Agency of International Crimes Tribunal has found evidences of involvement of three war crimes suspects of Bagerhat in crimes against humanity committed during the country's Liberation War in 1971.

Investigators brought eight charges in the final probe report against Sheikh Sirajul Haque alias Siraj Master, 72, Khan Akram Hossain, 61, and Abdul Latif Talukdar, 68, for their involvement in the killing of around 714 civilians and forced conversion of 200 Hindus of Bagerhat during the Liberation War.

The agency yesterday afternoon submitted the final probe report to the Chief Prosecutor's Office of International Crimes Tribunal. ASP Helal Uddin, the investigation officer, began the probe on May 21, 2013.

The trio joined the Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani occupation army, in 1971 and committed killing, mass killing, rape, looting, arson and forced conversion, said the report.

At a press conference at the agency's Dhanmondi office, Abdul Hannan Khan, a senior member of the agency, said "There are many high profile war crimes accused but the trio surpassed many of them by their criminality and atrocities."

Another senior member of the agency M Sanaul Haque said it is not that the agency will consider only the major offences committed during the Liberation War. "If we get evidence of a single offence, we will bring the offender under trial," he added.

The senior investigators said they will send three teams to different parts of the country next month to scrutinise over 584 cases and allegations in which around 3,230 are made accused of crimes against humanity committed in 1971.

The tribunal is currently leading investigations of 14 cases on crimes against humanity against 16 persons.

PROBE FINDINGS

Among the eight charges, four have been brought against Sirajul alone for the killing of 666 people, two against all of them for the killing of 47 people and two against Khan Akram and Abdul Latif for converting 200 Hindus and killing a person.

According to the probe report, Sirajul on May 13, 1971 was involved in the killing of 40 to 50 people of Hindu Community at Ranjitpur in the district. Their houses were also plundered.

On May 21, 1971, an armed group killed around 600 to 700 Hindus when several thousand Hindu men gathered at Kalimandir in Dakra of Rampal of the district in order to go to refugee camps in India. Sirajul was involved in that killings, said Sanaul.

19 civilians of Besorgati and Kandapara under Bagerhat Sadar Police Station were detained, tortured and killed on June 18, 1971. Sirajul is found to have been involved in the killings, the probe report reads.

The senior investigator said Sirajul took part in looting 50 houses of Chulkathi village and killing seven persons.

The trio attacked civilians at Shakharikathi Haat under Kochua Police Station and killed 42 persons on November 5, 1971, he said.

During the last week of July 1971, Khan Akram and Abdul Latif forced 200 Hindus of Shakharikathi village to convert into Muslim. "They were forced to eat beef," said Sanaul.

The three war crimes suspects killed five persons of different villages of Kachua Police Station on November 22, 1971.

Khan Akram and Abdul Latif detained freedom fighter Fazlur Rahman of Teligati village and killed him on December 13, 1971. Sixty-eight persons are made witnesses of the case.

The trio were the supporters and activists of Muslim League, a political party that opposed the birth of Bangladesh.

Abdul Latif and Khan Akram were arrested on June 10 and June 20 respectively, while Sirajul, who went into hiding after the issuance of arrest warrant by the tribunal, was arrested on July 21.

 

Published: 12:01 am Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Last modified: 10:06 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TAGS: International Crimes Tribunal war crimes Bagerhat investigation agency chief prosecutor humanity committed

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