For more than 44 years, Abdur Rouf Montu has been waiting for justice.
His father had been brutally killed in the Dhulauri massacre in Santhia upazila of Pabna by the ruthless militia of Motiur Rahman Nizami on the night of November 27, 1971.
Yesterday, he expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court judgment upholding the death sentence of Nizami, now the Jamaat-e-Islami chief, for crimes against humanity during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
“Al-Badr and Razakar men along with the Pakistan army cordoned off my house and the whole of Dhulauri village in the dead of night on November 27. My father and I tried to save our lives, but the Razakar Bahini men caught my father and killed him mercilessly,” said Montu.
Son of martyred freedom fighter Abul Kashem Fakir, Montu said he managed to escape the massacre by getting into a pond and remaining there the whole night.
Nizami led the Al-Badr, Razakar, and Pakistani troops to carry out the massacre in Dhulauri village. The SC verdict came as a consolation for those whose family members were killed, he said.
Montu demanded immediate execution of the Supreme Court verdict.
Yesterday, the apex court upheld Nizami's death penalties in three charges for the killings of around 450 people and raping 30 to 40 women in three villages -- Bausgari, Demra and Ruposhi -- of Pabna, killing of 52 people in Dhulauri village, and the killing of intellectuals
The SC awarded him life sentence in two charges and acquitted him of three other charges.
Liakot Ali, son of Abdul Awal who was also killed in the Dhulauri massacre, told The Daily Star, “I'm happy with the verdict of Nizami who orchestrated the massacre.”
Like Montu, Liakot also demanded quick execution of the verdict.
Talking to The Daily Star, Jamal Uddin who was a witness to the Dhulauri massacre said the SC judgement proved that Nizami was guilty of the massacre.
“Freedom fighters and family members of the victims are happy with the Supreme Court verdict,” he said.
Born in 1943 in Monmothpur village under Santhia upazila, Nizami was the chief of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, until September in 1971. He was also the chief of Al-Badr, a notorious killing squad that massacred the brightest sons of our soil at the fag of the Liberation War.
“Freedom fighters of Santhia are happy with the verdict. Now we want to see the execution of the verdict,” said Tofazzal Hossain, a freedom fighter and also a prosecution witness.
PROCESSION HAILING THE VERDICT
People of Santhia brought out a colourful procession hailing the verdict. Local Awami League men, freedom fighters, and people of all walks of life joined the procession that paraded the main streets of Santhia municipality. They were also seen distributing sweetmeats.
Meanwhile, Jamaat men in Santhia, hometown of Nizami, did not stage any demonstration in the area, protesting the SC verdict.
Security was beefed up in Santhia and Pabna ahead of the verdict delivery.