A prosecution witness yesterday testified that he saw the Pakistani army shoot his uncle dead at his house in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj following the “signal” of war crimes accused Syed Mohammad Qaisar during the Liberation War.
Omar Ali, the 21st witness in Qaisar's case, also told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that the Pakistani army men had shot his another uncle, but he survived as a bullet hit his hand.
Qaisar had taken part in 1970's election from his locality, and during election campaign, he wanted to hold a meeting in their home, the witness said.
“My uncle hadn't committed any crimes. Qaisar had my uncle killed by the Pakistani army as he didn't allow Qaisar to hold the meeting,” said an emotion-choked Omar.
The 62-year-old witness also narrated how they found six other bodies, apart from his uncle Nur Ali's, in their Lohaid village after Qaisar and the occupation army left the area on that day.
Earlier, Ful Miah, a freedom fighter from Habiganj, testified that the Pakistani army accompanied by Qaisar shot eight people, including Nur Ali, dead at Lohaid village on May 15, 1971.
Qaisar, a state minister of HM Ershad's regime, faces 16 charges including genocide in Habiganj and Brahmanbaria in 1971. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty before court.
During his 33-minute testimony, Omar said around 10:30am on May 14/15 in 1971, his friend Abdul Khalek came to their home and informed his uncle Nur Ali that the Pakistani army had entered their village.
“All of a sudden, we saw the Pakistani army and accused Qaisar entering our house...I and Khalek hid under our granary,” said Omar.
“From the hideout, I saw 14/15 Pakistani army men and accused Qaisar at our home yard. When my uncle greeted [Salam] Qaisar Shaheb, he [Qaisar] gave a signal and the Pakistani army instantly shot my uncle dead.”
The Pakistani army also shot his another uncle, Akram Ali Chowdhury, husband of his paternal aunt and Nur Ali's brother, but the bullet hit his right hand in the presence of Qaisar, he added. The witness did not elaborate how Akram survived.
Omar said they came out from the hideout around 1:30pm when Qaisar and the Pakistani army left the village. Later in that day, they found at least six bodies and they buried them in two graves, he said. After the incident, Omar left the country and took refuge in India.
Qaisar's counsel SM Shahjahan completed cross-examining Omar before the three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan adjourned the proceeding till today.