A prosecution witness yesterday told International Crimes Tribunal-1 that student leader Mahbubul Alam of Chittagong was tortured in the presence of war crimes accused Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury that led to his death during the Liberation War.
Faiz Ahmed Siddiqui, who was a guerrilla leader of the Communist Party in 1971, said he had heard from an eyewitness that Alam was forced to lie on a bed of nails at the 'Goods Hill' residence of SQ Chowdhury's father Fazlul Quader Chowdhury in Chittagong.
Faiz in his deposition in the case against SQ Chowdhury said Alam, vice-president of Rangunia Collage Student Union, died of severe torture.
He said he had heard about Alam's death from a member of the then Convention Muslim League who was locally known as Harun Contractor. Harun used to go to SQ Chowdhury's father Fazlul Quader Chowdhury's residence in the evening.
Fazlul Quader was the president of the Convention Muslim League.
During cross-examination, Faiz said he had lived in Harun's house during the War.
Faiz said a person named Syed Wahidul Alam had resigned from Bangladesh Chhatra League and joined the Convention League.
The witness said Mahbubul Alam was picked up from a tea-stall and taken to 'Goods Hill' at the end of July 1971.
Faiz added, “He [Mahbubul Alam] was put on a bed of nails and tortured in the presence of SQ Chowdhury and Wahidul Alam. Mahbub died of the torture.”
Defence counsel Ahsanul Huq Hena cross-examined the witness after his deposition.
In reply to suggestions from the defence, Faiz said it was not true that Harun had never gone to Goods Hill in 1971 or there was no bed of nails there.
Huq also said Mahbub was against the Liberation War and soon after independence he had fled to Pakistan where he was still living with his family.
“It's not true,” Faiz responded.
SQ Chowdhury was produced before the tribunal. The proceedings of the case were adjourned until November 19.
Meanwhile, International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday completed the cross-examination of Rustam Ali Molla, the fifth prosecution witness in the case against Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir recorded the cross-examination before adjourning the case proceedings until November 20, when the sixth prosecution witness is expected to testify.
On Tuesday, Rustam testified that he had seen Jamaat leaders Ghulam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Mojaheed at a Pakistani army camp at Mohammadpur during the Liberation War.
The tribunal also completed the cross-examination of Solaiman Ali Fakir, the sixth prosecution witness in the case against former minister Abdul Alim.
The seventh prosecution witness is expected to testify on November 19.
Mojaheed is facing seven charges, while Alim is facing 17 charges of crimes against humanity committed during the War.