Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General ATM Azharul Islam was involved in genocide, rape, killing, torture and other crimes against humanity during the liberation war in 1971 and it came out during the investigation, the last prosecution witness against the war crimes accused said yesterday.
“During the investigation it was proved that ATM Azhar in 1971 was president of Islami Chhatra Sangha [then student wing of Jamaat] of Rangpur unit and Al-Badr [auxiliary force to the Pakistani army] commander of Rangpur district,” said the 19th witness, SM Idris Ali, also the investigation officer of the case against Azharul, testifying at the International Crimes Tribunal-1.
To implement the scheme of the occupation army, the Jamaat leader abducted 11 people from Rangpur town and confined them to Rangpur Cantonment, Idris said, adding that they were later shot at Dokhiganj cemetery and 10 were killed.
Idris, who testified on the basis of documents and witnesses' testimonies during investigation, said Azharul was involved in killing 15 people at Dhap Para under Badarganj Police Station and more than 1,200 people at Jharuar Beel during the war.
The witness also said he found Azharul's involvement in the killing of four teachers of Rangpur Carmichael College and one of their wives near Damdama Bridge and in rape, looting, abduction at Kacna-Tokiyarpar and confinement at Rangpur Town Hall.
The IO claimed that Azharul was directly involved in torturing two brothers in Rangpur town. Idris said he visited the spots of the incidents.
The witness yesterday exhibited the SSC examination admit card where Azharul's date of birth is February 28, 1952. He also showed a note of Rangpur Carmichael College's principal, which reveals the war crimes accused was a student of science at higher secondary level.
Following the deposition, defence counsel Abdus Sobhan Tarafder began cross-examining the witness.
The defence counsel suggested the witness that he gave deposition quoting from a white paper supplied to him. But the investigation officer denied it.
The proceeding was adjourned till June 22.