Al-Badr killed 3 in Quasem's presence
A freedom fighter yesterday testified that Al-Badr men killed at least three people following orders from Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali at an Al-Badr torture camp in Chittagong.
Nasiruddin Chowdhury, a member of Mujib Bahini, told the International Crimes Tribunal-2 that Al-Badr men also tortured him in presence of Quasem.
The accused even interrogated him to glean information about the pro-liberation forces, Nasiruddin, the third prosecution witness in Quasem's case, said.
The 60-year-old journalist from Patia told the tribunal that there were three torture centres of Al-Badr in Chittagong and Quasem was responsible for organising Chittagong's Al-Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani army in 1971.
"Pro-liberation people were brought to these camps and tortured to death following his [Quasem] instructions," said Nasiruddin, who identified Quasem in the dock.
Earlier, Syed Mohammad Amran, the first prosecution witness in the case, testified that four to five detainees were killed at Quasem-controlled Al-Badr torture camp set up at Dalim Hotel in Chittagong city.
During his 56-minute testimony, Nasiruddin said he took part in several operations in Chittagong after his training in India in 1971.
In the later part of November, 1971, Al-Badr men blindfolded him and took him to Dalim Hotel, the Al-Badr headquarters of the port city.
"Failing to get anything [information] from me, Al-Badr men left the room," he said, adding that his blindfold was taken off.
"After sometime, Mir Quasem Ali along with other Al-Badr men entered the room. 'You are yet to gain any information from him; beat him,' Quasem Ali ordered the Al-Badr men referring to me," said Nasiruddin.
“Then the Al-Badr men started beating me with sticks, iron rods and electric wires mercilessly.”
At one stage, Quasem himself interrogated him to know about his co-fighters, shelter houses and arms while the other Al-Badr men continued to beat him, said Nasiruddin.
"I used to hear groans coming from my room (in the hotel) as people were tortured there," he said, adding that the torture was intensified after Quasem was injured in a bomb attack on December 6, 1971.
"From the other detainees, I had learnt that captives were eventually tortured to death in presence and on order of Mir Quasem Ali.
"Later, their bodies were dumped into the Karnaphuli," he told the court.
From a servant, whose name was probably Pankaj or Swapan, he had learnt that Tuntu Sen, Ranjit Das and freedom fighter Jasim were tortured to death on the roof of the camp.
"I also heard from other detainees that Mir Quasem Ali ordered the killing and was present at the time of the killing," he said.
Nasiruddin was released from the camp on December 16, 1971 when the nation achieved victory.
After his testimony, Quasem's lawyer Mizanul Islam started cross-examining him.
Mizanul asked only three questions before the three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan.
The tribunal adjourned the case proceeding until today, when Nasiruddin will face further cross-examination.
Quasem, a member of Jamaat's central executive council, is facing 14 charges for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity committed in Chittagong during the nine-month-long war.